Israel plans new Jewish settlement units in heart of Sheikh Jarrah

Jewish settlers gather in the Jewish settlement Mehola in the occupied Jordan Valley, to welcome a convoy of new Jewish settlers, February 2020 (Emmanuel Dunand - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  November 1, 2022

The Israeli occupation authorities approved on Monday a new Jewish settlement plan in the heart of Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, local media have revealed. The plan is to build a 12-storey building of 135 settlement units as part of a wider plan to expand the illegal Jewish settlement of Ma’alot Dafna.

According to Israeli media, the settlement project will be built on an area of 2,110 square metres after the demolition of a five-storey building that includes 26 settlement units. An underground synagogue and car park will also be built.

Ma’alot Dafna settlement was originally built on almost 100 acres of Palestinian land confiscated in 1968 in the east of occupied Jerusalem.

Around 700 settlers live in the settlement which is being built on the rubble of the destroyed Palestinian village of Lifta in Sheikh Jarrah. “We have been working to increase the settlement units across the city through promoting projects for both religious and secular sectors,” said the Head of the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem Municipality, Moshe Lion.

All Jewish settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions. On 28 September, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland told the UN Security Council that “we see little progress” in the implementation of a 2016 UN Resolution calling for an immediate end to the building of illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.