The so-called Civil Administration has approved the construction of two new roads for isolated settlements on private land confiscated from Palestinians this month. Each of these roads will be available in the north and south of the West Bank.
Road 60, which crosses the West Bank, south of Hebron, and Gush Etzion passes through several Palestinian villages. For several years, the members of the so-called Yesha Council and the regional councils have been demanding to construct bypass roads.
On May 1, the project was finally approved by the Roads Subcommittee of the Supreme Planning Council of the Israel Lands Administration, which is responsible for approving roads construction. At the beginning of next month, the confiscation orders will take effect, and the occupation will be able to start paving the roads.
The project includes paving a street, which is scheduled to encircle Hawara town, near Yitzhar settlement. This route is supposed to serve the residents of Yitzhar settlement and Havat Gilad settlement. To construct this road, 406 dunums of land belonging to Burin, Huwara, Bita, Awarta, Yasuf, and Assawya were confiscated. According to the Settlement Tracking Team, which belongs to Peace Now, the road is expected to reach about 5.5 kilometers.
The second road is expected to encircle Arroub refugee camp and serve the residents of the settlements in the south of Gush Etzion and Hebron hills, including Karmei Tzur and Kiryat Arba. The road construction plan includes the confiscation of 401 dunums of land in Beit Ummar and Halhul, about seven kilometers long.
The head of the Settlement Monitoring Team of Peace Now, Shabtai Bendit, said land confiscation is a “part of the government’s continued submission to settlers’ demands.” According to him, paving bypass roads leads directly to the development of settlements in the adjacent areas.
An example of this is Road 398, which extends from southeast Jerusalem to the area of Tkoua and Nokadem settlements. According to Peace Now data, after building the road in the previous decade, the number of housing units in settlements increased between 2008 and 2014 by 90 percent.