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Israeli national parks policy used to dispossess Palestinians

February 20, 2014 at 3:33 pm

An Israeli organization has warned against the dangerous repercussions of the implementation of a new Israeli plan to establish a national garden in the East Jerusalem towns of Issawiya and Al Tur.

The Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement has said that if the plan to establish the Mount Scopus Slopes National Park is implemented, it will cause great damage to land reserves intended for the future development of Issawiya and Al Tur and their 30,000 residents.

In a press release from the Movement, it stated that the town of Issawiya which is fenced in by Israeli settlements and institutions from most directions, “is able to develop only southward, onto the land approved for the national park. Without this important land, Issawiya will be forced to build inward and onto itself until it becomes another poverty-stricken slum… The neighbourhood is already suffering from serious planning shortage and a lack of infrastructure.”
The Movement noted that the Israeli Authorities use national parks to dispossess the Palestinian population of its land, especially in densely-populated Palestinian areas. According to the movement, this is not “a new phenomenon” as similar acts have been carried out several times and in various places inside the 1948 Armistice Line.