Israeli authorities have laid down the groundwork for a "strategic settlement plan" in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron and a huge settlement expansion southeast of Jerusalem, Haaretz revealed yesterday.
The newspaper said that the Civil Administration in the occupied West Bank promised to advance a "strategic development plan" in the South Hebron Hills.
According to the newspaper, an internal document sent in the past few months from the former Director of the Israeli Civil Administration David Menachem to the head of the Region Settlement Council in Hebron Hills included an "obligation" to carry out a number of settlement projects.
The strategic projects, the document showed, included industrial parks, a medical centre and housing units for settlers.
Haaretz also said that the plan is still in its primary stages, noting that the area of Hebron Hills was scanned by Israeli employees in July and that was part of the preparations to confiscate the Palestinian lands in favour of the settlement project.
The newspaper also revealed a grand plan for settlement expansion in the southeast of the occupied holy city of Jerusalem.
Israeli authorities are conducting land surveys around the settlement of Efrat in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc in order to "create contiguity of state lands".
It noted that the construction in this area would likely heighten tensions between the Israeli occupation and the Palestinians, including a diplomatic row, as it would push the illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc into the outskirts of the occupied city of Bethlehem.