Middle East Monitor / December 15, 2020
Israel has approved the construction of thousands of illegal settlement units in the occupied West Bank, Wafa news agency reports.
The construction of 8,300 new colonial settler units will be on Palestinian land extending from the Beit Safafa neighbourhood to Al-Walaja village south of Jerusalem.
According to the PLO’s National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements (NBPRS), several indicators on the ground show that Israel is going ahead with its annexation plan even though it had announced that it had been postponed.
In its weekly report, it stated that the infrastructure for the annexation project is being implemented through “bypassing annexation” settlement units, turning the occupied West Bank into a “new Galilee” by 2045. This, it explained, would create a Palestinian minority in the area.
“In Jerusalem and its environs, the occupation government does not stop its settlement projects, as it aims to create a large settlement belt around Jerusalem by constructing new settlement roads and streets aimed at preventing any expansion or geographical contact of the people of Jerusalem from the south as part of the so-called ‘Jerusalem Envelope Belt’,” NBPRS said.
“The occupation municipality in Jerusalem began its actual steps aimed at paving a new road at the beginning of next year, linking the new settlement outpost, Mordot, with the settlement of Gilo, south of occupied Jerusalem, at the expense of the confiscated Palestinian lands belonging to the residents of Al-Walaja, Beit Safafa and the area south of Jerusalem,” it added.
The construction scheme will involve building new settler towers up to 30 floors high, which is scheduled to begin by 2021, and expected to continue until 2040.
The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is regarded as “occupied territory” under international law, thus making all Jewish-only settlements there illegal.
Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967.
Currently, more than 450,000 Israelis live in settlements in the territory, home to more than 2.8 million Palestinians.