Settlement expansion will isolate Battir and surrounding villages

BETHLEHEM/PNN/

Israeli Occupation Forces began a settlement project around the villages of Battir, Wadi Fokin, Nahhalin and Hosan in the Bethlehem Governorate.

The project would isolate these villages, surrounding them with illegal settlements and put the people at greater risk of displacement.

Construction began with Israeli engineers, under armed guard by the military, numbering an placing signs in the Nahhalin village. This is in order to pave a road that would connect Jerusalem with the Biter Elite illegal settlement.

Roads that will be constructed will be appropriated for Israeli settler use only. Roads that have always belonged to the Nahhalin and Hosan villages will be taken and also appropriated for settler use only.

Palestinian Authority Official Hassan Brijjieh announced the plan, costing 185 million shekel. He explained that the proposal is meant to increase the number of settlers in the West Bank by creating easier means of transportation.

In addition to the roads, the construction plan also includes a tunnel and railway system running between Jerusalem and the Biter Elite and Eli Ezer settlements. The railway system will also link these settlements with Haifa and Tel Aviv.