Israel to build new Jewish settlement near Bethlehem

A general view shows ongoing construction work in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank (Ahmada Gharabli - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  June 8, 2022

Israeli occupation authorities have revived a plan to build a new Jewish settlement on Palestinian land near the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, reported on Tuesday.

Anti-settlement activist Mo’ayad Sha’aban warned that the Israeli occupation authorities are planning to build this new settlement to complete its circle of settlements surrounding the city of Bethlehem.

Sha’aban said that the Israeli occupation authorities have revived a plan for building 560 new settlement units out of 952 proposed for discussion – a plan originally shelved in 2020.

He also shared that the new plan includes building other facilities in an area estimated at 205 dunams and owned by Palestinians, noting that the area is located between the Al-Walaja and Batteer neighbourhoods of Bethlehem.

The activist pointed out that the Israeli occupation authorities, in an attempt to deceive the international community, claim that the new plan is an expansion of the already existing Har Gilo settlement.

However, he indicated that the proposal intends to build a new settlement that would entirely encircle the city of Bethlehem.

According to Sha’aban, the Israeli occupation would have completed the separation of Bethlehem by cutting its geographical proximity to other Palestinian cities: “This reinforces the reality that makes the two-state solution impossible.”