New settlement on Qalandia Airport Land to isolate East Jerusalem

By: Madeeha Araj/ NBPRS/

The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements stated in its latest weekly report , that although the Israeli -American “Deal of the Century” that is also backed by few Arab states, proposes the right to establish a ‘special Palestinian tourism zone’ in the Atarot area (i.e. the old Qalandia Airport north of Jerusalem), to support Muslim tourism. Yet, the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing is planning to build a new settlement there, to be larger than the “Ma’aleh Adumim” settlement, under the project n. 101-0764936, in the occupied East Jerusalem. Knowing that the Qalandia airport has been closed by Israeli authorities since the outbreak of the second Intifada, in the year 2000

In an obvious escalation to isolate Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings, the Occupation Government decided to build new settlement as the Israeli PM Netanyahu vowed to build 9000 settlement units, commercial centers and a hotel, as well as water tanks and others, adding that the number of units will reach 11,000, by 2030. Thus, signs and marks were placed by the Israeli occupation, on 21 Palestinian homes in order to be demolished.

Within his campaign for the upcoming Knesset’s elections, the Israeli PM, Netanyahu, announced plans to build 5,200 new settlement units in Jerusalem, including 2,200 in the “Har Homa” settlement, and 3,000 settlement units in the “Givat Hamtus” settlement, which means increasing the number of settlers there up to 10.000 settlers. For his part, Minister of the Occupation Army, Naftali Bennett, decided to hold a meeting for the Higher Planning Committee affiliated to the Israeli Civil Administration, to approve the building of 1900 settlement units in the West Bank, in the Ramallah Governorate, of which 600 settlement units in the Eili settlement, and 534 units in the Shvut Rachel settlement.

It is also noted that the Israeli Government plans to control Areas B in the West Bank, as the Minister of the Israeli Occupation Army, Naftali Bennett decided to prevent the Palestinians from building in these areas under security pretext. Accordingly, the Israeli occupation forces started to build a 7-kilometer settlement road with a cost of NIS 100s of millions, including tunnels and bridges south of Nablus, extended from the Za’tara village through Hawara town, and Beita and Udala villages, which means confiscating about 406 dunums of 7 Palestinian villages.

For their part, a delegation from the American Congress visited settlements, and the Ibrahimi Mosque’s courtyard in Hebron, and the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, and the Gush Etzion’s pool as well. The delegation consisted of 2 Congress members, who said that these areas have to be part of Israel.

On the other hand, the UN Human Rights Office issued the black list of companies operating in settlements in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. For his part, Michael Link praised the decision, saying it is ‘an important step.’ Adding that because of settlements, thousands of Palestinian donums were confiscated, thousands of homes and properties were destroyed, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees were displaced, and several natural resources were levelled.

With regard to the American giant companies that encourages settlement, the Financial Times newspaper conducted an extensive investigation on the Amazon company that provides free shipping to all Israeli settlements, but it does not provide the same free service to the Palestinians unless they include Israel as their country during the completion of the registration process. The newspaper pointed out during its investigation that the free shipping includes orders that exceed US$ 49, noting that the company started its activity there in last November. It stipulated that it provides the same free service to the Palestinians, in case they mentioned that they live in Israel.