Israeli Knesset

With Knesset elections nearing: USA supports Israel expanding settlements

By: Madeeha Araj/ NBPRS/

The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements said in his latest weekly report that , the ruling Israeli right-wing in Israel is racing the time in order to get the votes of the Israelis, particularly, the settlers. It escalates the land confiscation campaigns throughout the West Bank, especially, in the occupied Jerusalem, using the American protection, ahead of the Knesset election scheduled next April 9th, as the settlement file occupies an important part in Israel. Accordingly, the gov’t recently ratified “the construction of 464 housing units in the “Gilo” settlement in East Jerusalem as part of a plan to build more than 4,000 settlement units throughout the city, besides the construction of 23,576 housing units in East Jerusalem. The construction of 180 units in Kiryat Yovel and 375 units in Kiryat Menahem. Mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Li’on said, “This is good news for me and for the young couples in the city.”

This came after the discovery of other settlement projects in occupied Jerusalem, which of millions of NIS has been allocated for their implementation, where the so-called “Renovation and Development of the Jewish Quarter” projects implements Judaization projects that worth over NIS 200 million i.e. about $ 55 million, including the so-called “Wailing Wall Project” and the “Mosaic of Jerusalem”, all aimed at forming the Talmudic legends in these various neighborhoods, to attract more Jewish tourists, and change their features completely,

Those projects include the construction of buildings and houses that the occupation claims they dated back to the era of the Temple. The project of “beautiful village” aims to change the features of the “Jewish Quarter”. It is erected on the ruins of the honorary and Moroccan neighborhoods after the 1967 war, claiming it is infrastructure works and adapting to the imagined Talmudic legend in order to attract Jewish tourists, but as they said, they are renovating a synagogue, which settlers claimed it was destroyed during 1948.

Renovation is expected to continue several years, during which the entire structure will be changed. The height of the building will be 25 meters and the stairs leading to the Buraq wall will be removed by building an elevator. The project will have a total area of ​​2000m2, costing NIS 57 million shekels, and will be completed BY 2022.

At the same time, Israel’s right-wing leaders continue to launch provocative calls for annexing C areas and imposing Israeli law on them. Israeli Minister of Justice, Elit Shaked, one of the founders of the New Right party and Naftali Bennett said, Israel should control them. Thus, the Israeli citizenship will be granted to half a million Palestinians, who will live in peace and can vote in the Knesset. In response to a question on whether the residents of East Jerusalem, about 400,000 Palestinians, would receive full citizenship with the right to vote in the Knesset, Shakid said that the residents of these areas chose to obtain residency only, but if the Israeli law applied on them, they will be citizens of the State of Israel, and have the right to vote.

Moreover, the occupation authorities continue applying the ethnic cleansing policy in Jerusalem as they continue displacing citizens of the Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood by force, replacing them with Jews through carrying out settlement projects in the city, they uprooted Abu-Assab family from its house that overlooks the Dome of the Rock. They arrested the son of Abu-Asab and assaulted him and many citizens, who rushed to stand with the family. The family was forcibly evicted from the house according to a decision issued at the end of last Oct. which it owns many decades i.e. since its displacement from the Al-Baqa’a Neighborhood of West Jerusalem in 1948.

In another context, the Institute for Applied Sciences -ARIJ said that the Israeli War Ministry’s website revealed a series of secret files containing some racist Israeli laws and orders related to the areas of influence of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli occupation army deliberately hid them from the owners of the Palestinian lands being the main losers, so they can not reject or object  them in the Israeli courts, consequently Israel managed to expand its control over the Israeli settlements.

Israel has adopted racist laws to facilitate the confiscation of Palestinian lands, including a “military order on the administration of regional councils in “Judea and Samaria, no. 783 and 5739 – 1979, in which five Jewish regional councils were declared in the occupied West Bank, besides a establishing local councils in “Judea and Samaria, no. 892 and 5741 – 1981 under which local councils were established in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.