“. . . the destruction of habitable space without expelling too many people . . .” (Sari Hanafi)

Gilo Settlement, Thursday, 19 November 2009 (Photo: BBC NEWS)

❶ PLO: Israel consolidating its ‘Apartheid regime’ through expansion of Gilo settlement

  • background from Social Text

❷ The settlement of Na’aleh expands on lands of Deir Qiddis
❸ Israeli plan to build more housing units for Haredi settlers
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `
Ma’an News Agency
July 25, 2016
Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat released a statement Monday condemning Israel’s newly advanced plans to expand the illegal Gilo settlement, saying the move was part of “Israel’s political decision to bury the two-state solution by consolidating its illegal occupation and Apartheid regime over the Palestinian people.”
[. . . .]
___“Such a decision further reflects the failure of the international community to stop Israel’s settlement expansion,” Erekat said. “It comes as Israel receives more assurances that no action will be taken against its illegal policies of colonization and annexation of occupied Territory, a war crime under international law.”   MORE . . .

From Social Text.

(A report of the University of New Mexico’s Israel/Palestine Field School, 2011)

Walls, fences, checkpoints, and bypass roads connecting illegal settlements all work to restrict Palestinian movement with the ultimate goal of encouraging Palestinians to embrace their own ethnic transfer. The field school witnessed an advanced stage of the process of spacio-cide in the West Bank village of al-Walaja. In this small village, a bypass road designed for settlers as well as two expanding Israeli settlements (Har Gilo and Gilo) are daily encroaching on al-Walaja’s land. The village population has been decimated, as most of the village’s men have been imprisoned or have left home in search of work. We met a community organizer in al-Walaja who admitted that her village is likely to disappear in the next few months because the expansionist settler state of Israel is making life impossible. The community organizer’s goal is to figure out how the remaining women of the village can create economic opportunities for themselves once they’ve lost their ancestral lands.
[. . . .]
Specific sites within Israel’s 1948 borders . . . [represent] different strategies of erasure/assimilation and different outcomes. The Palestinian village of as-Zakariyya. . .  had a population of more than one thousand in the mid-1940s.’ The population persisted on the old village site after the 1948 war but was eventually evicted in mid-1950, as decided by the Jewish National Fund. The Jewish settlement of Zecharya replaced the Palestinian village, and we found three buildings from the old village still present. . . . The main building to which we paid attention was the old mosque, surrounded by a fence, trash sprinkled and dumped all around it, boarded up.

  • Lubin, Alex, et al. “The Israel/Palestine Field School.” Social Text 31.4_117 (2013): 79-97.   SOURCE    (Alex Lubin is Professor and Chair of the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico)

POICA – Monitoring Israeli Colonization Activities in the Palestinian Territories
July 25, 2016
On the 13th of July 2016, the Israeli occupation Bulldozers backed by army forces commenced a large scale land razing in Deir Qiddis village west of Ramallah Governorate, to expand the nearby Na’ale Settlement located on the northern edges of Deir Qiddis Village. Villagers and affected Palestinian land owners stated that the expansion is being implemented based on a previously approved Town Plan scheme in the settlement. Analysis conducted by the applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ) to the affected area showed that on the 13th of April 2016. . . the Town Plan Scheme was deposited for approval to the Israeli settlement sub-committee on the 27th of May 2015, and was approved in 2016. The construction is being implemented by Holly Ervin Wiesenthal company.    MORE . . .

deir qaddis
Deir Qaddis, occupied Palestine, 20th July 2016 (Photo: International Solidarity Movement)

The Palestinian Information Center
July 25, 2016
Israel’s cabinet for housing affairs on Friday discussed a plan to build more housing units for ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) settlers in the Galilee and the Negev. According to Haaretz newspaper, a crew was assigned to study the construction of new two towns for Haredi families in the northern and southern regions during the meeting that was chaired by Israel’s minister of finance Moshe Kahlon     MORE . . .

Contemporary Arab Affairs
Sari Hanafi
[. . . .]
Since the inception of the Zionist myth of a land without people for a people without land, the policy of successive Israeli governments has been to appropriate land while ignoring the people on it. The founding myth has been perpetuated, and, in its more modern form, can be seen in the policy of acquiring the most land with the least people (where ‘people’, of course, refers to the Palestinians). The resulting institutionalized invisibility of the Palestinian people both feeds and is fed by Israel’s everyday settler-colonial practices. For example, parts of the Israeli West Bank wall are being constructed specifically to remove the visual presence of Palestinian villages such as the wall along the sides of Route 443 where there is no security function or those of Gilo Settlement in front of Beit Jala.
___Moreover, this enforced invisibility sustains an Israeli system neither interested in killing nor in assimilating the Palestinians. . . . The Israeli colonial project is ‘spacio-cidal’ (as opposed to genocidal) in that it targets land for the purpose of rendering inevitable the ‘voluntary’ transfer of the Palestinian population, primarily by targeting the space upon which the Palestinian people live. This systematic destruction of the Palestinian living space becomes possible by exercising the state of exception and deploying bio-politics to categorize Palestinians into different groups, with the aim of rendering them powerless.
___. . .  This policy involves a combination of three strategies.
___First, it involves ‘space annihilation’. . .
___The second strategy is that of ethnic cleansing . . . the forced expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians . . .  was part of a long-standing Zionist plan to manufacture an ethnically pure Jewish state. . .  [by] reduction of lives to ‘bare life’ without eliminating too many people, the destruction of habitable space without expelling too many people from that space, the production of impoverishment without  starvation. . . .
___The third strategy, deployed in the face of resistance to space annihilation and ethnic cleansing, consists of what . . .  ‘creeping apartheid’ . . . . increasingly impregnable ethnic, geographic, and economic barriers between groups vying for recognition, power, and resources.

  • Hanafi, Sari. “Spacio-cide: colonial politics, invisibility and rezoning in Palestinian Territory.”  Contemporary Arab Affairs 2.1 (January–March 2009), 106–12.  FULL ARTICLE. 

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