File – Israel removes an illegal building built on a designated route. November 18, 2009. (FLASH90/Mohamar Awad)

Palestinians appear to be ramping up illegal construction ahead of the proposed Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria

Israel authorities on Sunday stepped in to stop Palestinian construction of an illegal building outside of Bethlehem, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

The area where the stop-work order was given is located in Area C, which is under full Israeli administrative and military control and was being built without a permit.

The Regavim movement, a non-profit whose mission is to protect Israel’s national lands and resources, including the illegal seizure of state land by Palestinians, issued a major report recently that detailed the 10-year Palestinian plan to seize as much land as they could in Judea and Samaria.

Established a decade ago by then Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the plan was a “carefully planned strategic program to seize control of as much land in Area C as possible,” Regavim said.

According to Regavim the Palestinians carried their plans out on several fronts, including “the construction of tens of thousands of illegal structures, seizure of hundreds of thousands of dunams of land through agricultural use, … and lawfare that aims to block enforcement measures by the State of Israel’s official law enforcement apparatus.”

In an 2009 news interview, Fayyad said: “We have decided to take the initiative … and to create facts on the ground.”  This was after the Palestinians had rejected the two-state offer from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Fayyad’s plan also came shortly after the Hamas terror group seized control of Gaza from Fayyad’s Fatah organization in a bloody 2006 coup and declared they they, not Fatah, were the true representatives of the Palestinian people.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has set July 1 as the target date to begin annexing Israeli settlements in Area C – parts of the Jordan Valley, Judea and Samaria – under conditions of the Trump peace plan. American officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, have said recently that the decision to apply sovereignty to the settlement blocs is Israel’s decision to make.