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New Settlement Operations in Occupied Jerusalem to change Its Historical Features

Madeeha Araj
2019 / 12 / 2

By: Madeeha Araj,
The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements stated in its latest weekly report , that the Israeli Housing Ministry and the Israeli Occupation Municipality in Jerusalem have launched a large settlement scheme to construct 11,000 settlement units on the Qalandia airport lands to expand the Attarot settlement in an attempt to impose sovereignty on the occupied Jerusalem and to separate it from its Palestinian surroundings as well. It should be noted that the Qalandia airport has been closed since by the Israeli Authorities since the outbreak of the second intifada in 2000.

During the last few weeks, the Israeli Occupation Government started building 176 settlement units in the Nof Zion settlement located on the slopes of the Mount of Olives south of the occupied Jerusalem. With the completion of building those units, Nof Zion will have about 550 housing units i.e. the largest settlement in the Palestinian Neighborhoods of Jerusalem. The above mentioned land was legally disputed, but was finally taken by Israeli businessman Rami Levy, and an Australian Jewish businessman, and Skype founder, Kevin Bremster. It was said that the current construction is in its first stage, and the second stage of the project includes 2 plans to build 350 housing units, a hotel, and an air train.

For his part, the Human Rights activist Ra’ed Bashir from Jerusalem disclosed the existence of 3 projects in the Masarra neighborhood in the occupied Jerusalem, where a fundamental change in its commercial features by transferring the Square opposite the shops to a public park, and to extend the adjacent tunnel till it reaches the Hebron Gate. Thus, the municipality submitted a project number 77679-04-101 called the completion of the tunnel that seizes 44 dunums, including the opening of an underground tunnel from Hebron to Masarra to transform the open area into a transportation network station.

The legal office revealed that the occupation municipality is currently preparing a structural plan under number 0465229-101, starting from Sultan Suleiman Street up to the Masrara Neighborhood, which includes Salah al-Din, Zahra, Nablus St. Lisan George neighborhoods, and all commercial neighborhoods in the city. The project covers an area of 700 dunums and is planned to be the alternative for the traditional commercial centers in Arab Jerusalem.

It is noted that the number of settlement units that have been built during the last 10 years has risen to nearly 20,000 units according to data published by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, where a total of 19,634 housing units have been built in the last decade, nearly half of them in isolated settlements. In terms of distribution, the survey showed that 60% of the buildings i.e. 11,628 units were built in small settlements with a population of no more than 10,000 settlers. Rest of the units were built in large settlement blocs such as "Ariel" near Salfit, about 1,718 units, and Givat Ze ev settlement north of Jerusalem, about 1,283 units, while the settlement of Modi in Illit about 2,310 housing units. Moreover, Netanyahu has pledged to transfer NIS 40,000,000 to settlements as a "gift" for settlers because they supported him.

On the other hand, the Israeli Occupation Authorities have imposed new restrictions on the entry of Palestinians to their agricultural lands in areas named by them as focal-point located between the Apartheid Wall and the “Green Line,” estimated at 140,000 donum of agricultural land. The Israeli Civil Administration issued permits to allow Palestinians to enter their lands. Knowing that the Israeli Authorities reject 72% of the permits in 2018, compared to 24% in 2014.

Meanwhile, the UNs’ annual celebration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which correspondences 29 Nov. of each year, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres asserted that the establishment of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, has no legality. It is a flagrant violation of international law, as stated in UN Security Council Resolution 2334, called for a halt to the construction of illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and an end to the demolition of Palestinian homes and the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza.” As for Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European -union- for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said yesterday that negotiations between the Palestinian side and Israeli side is still possible, warning that Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem constitute an obstacle to peace, contradict the international law, and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.


A list of Israeli Occupation and Settlers Assaults over the Last Week, Documented by the National Bureau
Jerusalem:
- Demolishing a house in the industrial zone near Qalandiya north of the occupied Jerusalem under the pretext of not having a license.
- Preventing workers in the Bedouin area near the Pope Mountain near the Al-Eizariya town from renovating the side road that they bulldozed a week ago.
Hebron:
- Escalating attacks against the Palestinian civilians in the Old City.
- Injuring a number of Red Crescent crews and citizens, including a one-and-a-half-year-old child by a stone in the head as settlers attacked them in the Tel-Rumeida Neighborhood.
- Killing farmer Moh’d Nassar Nawaj a from Yatta, injuring his son, Thaer after Israeli military bulldozer hit them in the Farsh Al-Hawa area, west of Hebron.
- 4 houses demolished in the Beit Kahel village, northwest of Hebron.
- Stopping works in agricultural roads within the project of reclamation of lands adjacent to the Apartheid Wall, in cooperation between the Beit Ula Municipality, and the Land Research Center. Confiscated a special vehicle for the contractor working in the project in the Atos area adjacent to the Apartheid Wall, and chased others working there.
Bethlehem:
- Demolishing a café shop in the Battir village, west of Bethlehem, belonging to Wissam Oweina under the pretext of being located in area C.
- Writing racist graffiti on vehicles and walls of houses in the Jaba a village, southwest of Bethlehem.
- Razing scores of dunums west of Husan village in the Salam area.
- Cutting down scores of grape trees in the lands of the Khader village in Ein al-Asafoor area.
Ramallah:
- Torching a vehicle in the Taibeh village, wrote racist slogans on the walls of houses that read "Death to the Arabs" and "We will revenge." Moreover, they damaged tires of - 5 vehicles in the Deir Ammar village.
- Injuring a young man after a military jeep ran over him during confrontations that followed the Israeli forces’ incursion into the al-Amari Refugee Camp and confiscated a vehicle there.
- Invading the Om Al-Sharayit Neighborhood in the Al-Bireh city.
Nablus:
- Torching olive trees in the archaeological area of Sebastia, northwest of Nablus, and in the lands of Madama village south of Nablus.
- Demolishing a 200m2 house in the Asera al-Shamaleia village, northwest of Nablus.
- Cutting down 30 olive trees in the Al-Wadi area of the Al-Sawia village south of Nablus, and a tent for settlers was erected there.
Jordan Valley:
- Notes order to demolish a huge water tank in the Tubas Plain that irrigates about 800 donums of agricultural land.




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