The Israeli occupation government has approved the construction of 1,738 settlement units in the southeast of occupied Jerusalem, Israeli rights group Peace Now has said.
In a statement published on its website, Peace Now said the Israeli decision “effectively seals off the last remaining corridor connecting the Palestinian neighbourhoods of Beit Safafa and Sharafat with the rest of East Jerusalem.”
The plan, which was approved on 29 November, includes 1,230 residential units, 262 special housing units, and 246 small apartment units, Peace Now explained.
“Although about half of the plan area is beyond the Green Line, and about half is within the Green Line, its strategic location between the neighbourhoods of Givat Hamatos and Har Homa makes it particularly problematic from a political standpoint.”
This plan poses a significant challenge to the possibility of creating a Palestinian urban continuum in East Jerusalem and obstructs almost every urban connection between Bethlehem and East Jerusalem.
Peace Now explained.
It added that this was being approved as the world watches the genocide unfolding in Gaza. “The discussion on the plan’s approval for the construction of a new neighborhood in East Jerusalem during the Gaza conflict aligns with the broader trend of advancing additional plans in East Jerusalem under the guise of wartime initiatives.”
UN resolutions and international law state that settlement in occupied territories is illegal, with many countries and rights groups warning that it is an obstacle to the establishment of a Palestinian state.