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Palestine: Israel to build 300,000 illegal settlement units in occupied Jerusalem

25th Dec 2017
Palestine: Israel to build 300,000 illegal settlement units in occupied Jerusalem

By Lubaba Zawqan

 

JERUSALEM (AA) – Israeli Minister of Housing and Construction Yoav Galant has launched a campaign to promote the construction of 300,000 illegal settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem, according to Israeli media.

 

According to the channel, most of the planned homes will be built in areas beyond the Green Line, which refers to the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war.

The move comes less than three weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite world opposition.

The Israeli government has yet to comment on the report.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry, for its part, decried the Israeli plan as a “direct result” of Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“It is part of the colonialist project taking pace in Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, Hebron and elsewhere,” it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, dozens of extremist Israeli settlers stormed, on Sunday morning, the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque, under heavy guarded of Israeli police.

Jerusalemite sources reported, according to Al Ray, that about 45 settlers stormed the holy courtyards, under guard of the police, and organized provocative tours accompanied by rabbis.

Israeli Channel 10 said the planned construction was part of the so-called Israeli “Greater Jerusalem” bill, which aims at annexing settlements built on lands sought by Palestinians for their future state.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the perennial Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem — occupied by Israel — might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

Israel occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 claiming it as the Jewish state’s “undivided and eternal capital” — a move never recognized by the international community.

International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement construction there as illegal.

[Archive photo: Israeli soldiers guard street near Al-Aqsa mosque preventing under 40s to participate in prayes on 16 October 2015. Photographer: Muammar Awad/AA]

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