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When Trump takes office, Israel will build 30,000 new settlement units

An Israeli newspaper has revealed that the occupation authorities plan to start building 30,000 new illegal settlement units in the occupied Palestinian territories when US President-elect Donald Trump takes office in January, Quds Press reported on Sunday.

According to Kol Ha'ir, the Head of the Planning and Construction Committee in the Israeli-run Jerusalem municipality explained that settlement building has been frozen for the past two years due to US and international pressure. "Now that Trump [won], I hope he will put Jerusalem as a priority," said Meir Turgeman. "All these plans in Givat Hamatos, Gilo, Ramat Shlomo; all these have been waiting for two years at least."

Fifteen thousand settlement units will be built around the Jerusalem-Qalandiya airport, and several thousand will be in the industrial zone of Qalandiya (Atarot). Hundreds more are planned for the Ramot and Gilo settlements. The news comes as a ministerial committee has approved a draft bill to legalise settlements constructed on private Palestinian land.

Meanwhile, the head of the Palestinian anti-settlement committee, Waleed Assaf, said that the Israeli plans are intended to separate Jerusalem from its natural hinterland, with intensive building to the south, east and north of the city to impose a Jewish presence. He pointed out that this is one of the biggest Israeli settlement projects.

Assaf warned that the most dangerous of the proposals is the E1 Plan, which includes building 40,000 new settlement units over the next four years. Apart from the closure of local roads, this will also involve the displacement of a number of Palestinian residents.

The Israeli occupation authorities, he added, are preparing the illegal annexation by "Greater Jerusalem" of the settlement to the north-west of Ramallah, thus encircling the Palestinian city completely.

Asia & AmericasIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUS
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