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Israel starts turning Jerusalem International Airport into settlement

A General view shows the site of Atarot airport in the Qalandia area in northern Jerusalem on 29 August 2013. [Issam Rimawi/Apaimages]
A General view shows the site of Atarot airport in the Qalandia area in northern Jerusalem on 29 August 2013. [Issam Rimawi/Apaimages]

The recent decision of the Israeli District Planning and Building Committee in Jerusalem to build 9,000 settlement units in the Israeli settlement of Atarot will erase the remnants of the Jerusalem International Airport built in 1924, The New Khalij reported on Wednesday.

Head of Maps at the Arab Studies Society Khalil Tafakji was reported by The New Khalij confirming that Israel is planning to establish an entirely new settlement, mostly located on the land of the Jerusalem International Airport.

The airport is known to Palestinians as Qalandia Airport and to Israelis as Atarot Airport.

According to Tafakji, the airport received flights until the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in 1967.

Later on, Israel used it for internal flights and completely closed it in 2000.

On Sunday, Israel's public broadcaster Kan reported that the Israeli District Planning and Building Committee in Jerusalem had approved building 9,000 new settlement units in the Atarot settlement.

It pointed out that this plan was intentionally expedited before the US President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January, as he announced his support during his electoral campaign for the two-state solution.

READ: 86 families face forced eviction in Jerusalem

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