Israeli authorities in occupied East Jerusalem are advancing plans for a new Jewish religious school in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, settlement watchdog Ir Amim reported yesterday.
According to Ir Amim, the District Planning and Building Committee has now deposited for objections the plan for the Ohr Somayach Yeshiva.
The plan "calls for construction of an eleven-story building with eight levels above ground and three below, including a dormitory for hundreds of students and housing for faculty, to be located at the mouth of Sheikh Jarrah", explained the NGO, describing it "as an alarm bell in the context of Israel's ramped up efforts to deepen its circle of control around the Old City Basin."
The plan "was submitted by the Ohr Somayach Institutions, to which the Israel Land Authority has already allotted land without a transparent tender process, and approved for deposit by the District Planning and Building Committee in July 2017," Ir Amim added.
According to the NGO, "the private settlement compounds being built in the Old City and around its circumference (where roughly 2,500 settlers are now quartered)…have disastrous implications."
Furthermore, Ir Amim said, "this escalation of new facts on the ground in lead-up to the anticipated unveiling of a US peace initiative only further erodes opening conditions for any future plan."
The announcement follows "close on the heels of the renewed eviction order for the Sabbagh family" in the same neighbourhood, Ir Amim noted.