Israel’s Planning and Construction Committee has issued licences for 165 settlement units in Nafea Yacob Settlement in occupied Jerusalem.
In a press release, researcher in settlement issues Ahmed Soblaban said that the new project is part of a bigger plan to connect Nafea Yacob and Bezgat Zeaf Settlements. The particular danger of this project, warned Soblaban, is that it separates North Jerusalem from its occupied West Bank hinterland.
The project was originally proposed and approved in 2008, when the green area between both settlements was turned into an area ready for building. According to Soblaban, this project reinforces Israel’s racism against Palestinian residents in Jerusalem, who are prevented from building to cater for their population increase. Although Palestinians are usually not given building permits, they are in any case forbidden from building anything more than four storeys high. Jewish settlers can build as high as they want.
Soblaban pointed out that the Israeli authorities have also started the ground works for another new settlement near Bezgat Zeaf.