Israel’s ‘creeping annexation’ of West Bank continues
There is much talk these days about Israel's "creeping annexation" of the occupied West Bank, from both critics and proponents alike.
Critics say Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, dominated by right-wing nationalists in both the Likud and Jewish Home parties, has been advancing various laws designed to prepare the ground for Israel to annex portions of the occupied territory.
The Knesset passed legislation on February 12 that applies Israeli law to settler academic institutions in the occupied West Bank, such as Ariel University, founded in an Israeli settlement of the same name near the Palestinian town of Salfit.
Simultaneously, the justice ministry is advancing a law that would expand the jurisdiction of Israeli courts over Area C, which comprises 60 percent of the West Bank.
On the ground, however, there is a familiar story, one just as important as the Knesset manoeuvres and legal initiatives - and one without which "creeping annexation" would not even be possible.