The Har Hevron Regional Council Stands Behind One of the Settlers on Whom Sanctions Were Imposed

The Har Hevron Regional Council initiated the establishment of the illegal agricultural outpost Meitarim Farm belonging to Yinon Levy, one of the settlers who were imposed American sanctions after evidence of his involvement in violence against Palestinians was received. In recent months, approximately 300 Palestinian residents from four communities in the vicinity of the outpost have been forced to leave their homes due to the violence and threats of settlers.

In 2021, the “Meitarim Industrial Zone Directorate within the Har Hevron Development Company” signed a contract with the settler Yinon Levy for the establishment of an agricultural farm. The Har Hevron Development Company is a company owned by the Har Hevron Regional Council, which, among other things, manages the Meitarim Industrial Area in south Hebron hills.

According to the contract, which was signed on 22/3/2021: “The Directorate wants the farmer to establish an agricultural farm … that will maintain a presence in the lands of the area and thus help to preserve the state’s lands and the seizure and preservation of the surrounding lands … The farmer will establish on the farm… a corral for the herd and housing residences near it  and necessary additional facilities.” The contract includes a description of the area where the outpost will be established “in the agricultural areas marked in the plan of the industrial zone No. 514/2”.

According to settler rhetoric and the contract between the directorate and Levy, the words “preservation of the state’s lands and the seizure and preservation of the surrounding lands” serve as a code name for the expulsion of Palestinians who seek to graze their herds, cultivate land or make any use of the land in the vicinity of the outpost.

It should be noted that according to the provisions of plan 514/2, the construction of any “residential structure, structure for industrial use for agriculture, livestock, etc.” is prohibited. That is, in the contract, the municipality’s development company asks the settler to erect buildings in violation of the law, in areas where the Municipality itself is responsible for the enforcement of planning and construction laws.

The contract also mentions the involvement of Amana, a settler organization that is responsible for the establishment of many illegal outposts, and in recent years has been involved in the establishment and assistance of illegal agricultural farms in the territories.

Following the sanctions on the settler, the Council is raising funds on his behalf

The Council’s support for Yinon Levy extends beyond granting permission to use the land and supporting the outpost. Immediately after the imposition of sanctions, the Har Hevron Fund, a subsidiary association of the Regional Council, initiated a crowdfunding campaign to aid Yinon Levy. While the Americans are attempting to clearly oppose settler violence, an Israeli authority is seen directly supporting and assisting it.

Peace Now: “The settlers on whom sanctions were imposed are not the story. Behind every violent settler lies an entire governmental system that supports and funds them. Settler violence is not an isolated incident but rather a part of an organized and financed strategy by the authorities to dispossess Palestinians of their lands in the Occupied Territories, and to undermine any potential political solution.”

The four Palestinian communities at the vicinity of the outpost that were forced to leave their homes due to the violence and threats from settlers