Israel has confirmed plans to build 1,800 settlement units in the occupied East Jerusalem, the largest new settlement in over a decade.
The plans include two new buildings – respectively three and five stories tall – in the heart of the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, requiring the expulsion of five Palestinian families.
Additionally, a nine story campus that includes student accommodation and a six-story office building are also planned to be built in Sheikh Jarrah, according to Palestinian news agency Ma’an.
Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law as they are built on occupied territory.
Responding to the proposed reports, the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department said on Twitter, “Israel confirms again its commitment to apartheid and ethnic cleansing with today’s settlement announcements in occupied Jerusalem, not peace.”
The Israeli NGO Peace Now strongly condemned the news, accusing Israel of trying to destroy the two-state solution.
“The government is brutally attempting to destroy the possibility of the two-state solution, and this time it is by establishing a new settlement at the heart of a Palestinian neighbourhood in East Jerusalem and promoting nearly 1,800 housing units beyond the Green Line,” it said in a statement.
“The eviction of five Palestinian families, which are protected tenants, in order to establish a new settlement in Sheikh Jarrah shows that nothing will get in the way of settler groups and a pro-settler government from preventing a future compromise in Jerusalem.”