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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09JERUSALEM1091
2009-06-26 14:16:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Jerusalem
Cable title:  

TALMON PLANS PAVE THE WAY FOR CONSTRUCTION OF NEW

Tags:   PGOV  KPAL  KWBG  PREL 
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VZCZCXRO9923
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHJM #1091 1771416
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 261416Z JUN 09
FM AMCONSUL JERUSALEM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5262
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NSC PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L JERUSALEM 001091 

SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE AND IPA; NSC FOR SHAPIRO/KUMAR; JOINT
STAFF FOR LTGEN SELVA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/26/2019
TAGS: PGOV KPAL KWBG PREL
SUBJECT: TALMON PLANS PAVE THE WAY FOR CONSTRUCTION OF NEW
SETTLEMENT HOUSING IN THE WEST BANK

REF: TEL AVIV 1356

Classified By: Consul General Jake Walles, per reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L JERUSALEM 001091

SIPDIS

NEA FOR FRONT OFFICE AND IPA; NSC FOR SHAPIRO/KUMAR; JOINT
STAFF FOR LTGEN SELVA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/26/2019
TAGS: PGOV KPAL KWBG PREL
SUBJECT: TALMON PLANS PAVE THE WAY FOR CONSTRUCTION OF NEW
SETTLEMENT HOUSING IN THE WEST BANK

REF: TEL AVIV 1356

Classified By: Consul General Jake Walles, per reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)


1. (C) Summary. Israeli NGO Bimkom provided PolOff a copy
of the plan deposited last April to expand Talmon settlement
(reftel). The plan includes capacity for 300 total
residential units. NGOs report that approximately 60
residential units illegally constructed in the area would be
retroactively legalized under the plan. NGOs Bimkom and
Peace Now have filed objections to the plan. Residents of
the local village told PolOff June 25 that expansion of
Talmon settlement will aggravate restrictions they already
face in accessing their agricultural land.

Plan allows for 300 units
in Talmon settlement
--------------


2. (C) On April 20, 2009, the Israeli Civil Administration
deposited for public review Plan 235/3 titled "Changes in the
Plan for Area RJ-5 in Talmon Settlement 'Givat HaBrecha'."
(reftel). ConGen Jerusalem has acquired a copy of the text
of the plan from NGO Bimkom, and confirms that the plan's
capacity is 300 residential units. According to Alon
Cohen-Lifshitz of Bimkom, the proposed plan paves the way for
the retroactive legalization of approximately 60 residential
units that have been illegally constructed, and allows for
future construction of approximately 240 additional
residential units.

NGOs file objections to plan
--------------


3. (C) NGOs Peace Now and Bimkom have filed objections to
Plan 235/3. Hagit Ofran of Peace Now told PolOff on June 26
that the plan "rewards" illegal construction and is contrary
to the GOI's Roadmap commitments. Cohen-Lifshitz told PolOff
on June 25 that Bimkom and the Al Jania Village Council filed
a joint objection to Plan 235/3, primarily on the grounds
that the plan violates the principles of freedom of movement
for the people of Al Jania village.

Peace Now: Barak gave "blanket" approval
--------------


4. (C) Peace Now's Ofran told PolOff June 26 that she
understands that Israeli Minister of Defense (MOD) Ehud Barak
gave a "blanket" approval for Plan 235/3, meaning that MOD
approval is not needed at every step of the approval process.
When asked what Peace Now intends to do if their objection
is dismissed, Ofran said that they might take the case to the
Israeli High Court of Justice.


Al Jania residents face restrictions
on access to agricultural land
--------------


5. (C) During a June 25 meeting, the Al Jania village chief
explained that, since the 1980s, settlers from Talmon and
Dolev settlements have prevented access to approximately
10,000 dunums of land belonging to Palestinian families of Al
Jania, leaving the villagers with access to only 2,000 dunums
of land. Approval of the proposed plan would expand the
footprint of Talmon settlement, which, according to NGO
contacts and residents of Al Jania village, will further
restrict Palestinian villagers' access to agricultural land.
A security gate at the entrance to the "Talmon A" area of
Talmon settlement currently prevents Al Jania residents from
using the only road that leads to much of their agricultural
land. The village chief said that all of the approximately
200 families in Al Jania have land ownership documents.

Comment
--------------


6. (C) Per reftel, we understand that the MOD has stated
that MOD Barak will not allow construction of any of the
additional 240 housing units in the plan. Nevertheless,
approval of the plan is a step towards new construction in
Talmon, and this is certainly how it is perceived by
Palestinians. The plan also creates the possibility that
construction could be justified at some point in the future
as "previously approved" rather than "new" construction
activity.
WALLES