Israeli bulldozers have begun construction work to expand the illegal settlement of Givat HaMatos on the Talat Al-Tayyar neighbourhood overlooking the village of Beit Safafa, south of Jerusalem, which will further isolate the city from its Palestinian neighbourhoods.
Israel occupied the village of Beit Safafa in two phases. The first was in 1948, while the largest part of the village remained under Jordanian rule until 1967 when Israel occupied the entire village.
Illegal settlements surround the village where more than 17,000 Palestinians live. Some of the Jewish settlements are built over parts of the village, such as Gilo settlement, which is mainly built on the lands of the Bethlehem Governorate.
On a hill in Khirbet Tabalia in the village of Beit Safafa lies the lands where Israel began to establish a settlement comprising 2,500 settlement units on an area of 100,000 square metres.
After 1948, Israel built part of the Qatamoun, Talpiot and Bat settlements on the village's land.
The new construction would link the settlements of Gilo and Har Homa with the settlement of Talpiot, isolating the southern West Bank from Jerusalem.
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