Settlement expansion in and around East Jerusalem continues

By: Madeeha Al-A’raj/ NBPRS/

The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements ( nbprs ) stated in its latest weekly report , that fifty three years on the occupation of East Jerusalem, the Israeli occupation authorities exert tireless efforts to grab the remaining lands and impose their control over vast area in the city and the governorate of Jerusalem, disregard their difficult living conditions, supported by all the successive Israeli governments since 1967 that encourage the demolishing and anything belongs to them, restrict their movement, carry out ethnic cleansing against them to change the city’s landmarks, judaize it and forge its heritage, civilization and history step by step.

Within the context, the Israeli PM, Netanyahu said that his new government is ready for negotiations on the basis that Jerusalem will remain the unified capital of Israel, expressed his happiness that his new government’s partners have hear his position while entrusting the new government in the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs to the radical rabbi, Rafi Peretz, who was the chief rabbi of the occupation army through 2010-2016, who also declared in 2014 that there is no sacredness for the Al-Aqsa in Islam, and there is no legitimacy for the presence of Muslims in it.

At this time, the so-called “Israeli Antiquities Authority” and the so-called “Western Wall Heritage Foundation” revealed that their crews completed a major excavation process that took 2 years under the Western Wall, and that stone rooms were discovered on top of each other, dating back to the Byzantine, Umayyad and Abbasid eras, and Israeli excavations didn’t stop since the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967. This new disclosure comes before the so-called – Jerusalem Day – where “Israeli antiquities Authority” indicated that it is going to arrange a tour for senior Israeli government officials and some foreign guests, led by the American ambassador, settler Friedman to the place, although the new discoveries don’t refer for any Jewish connection to the place.

For its part, the B’Tselem Center for Human Rights revealed the size of violence, injustice, and oppression that the occupation has practiced over the 53 years of the occupation of Jerusalem and its annexation by force, and the repercussions of that on the Palestinian citizens. The report titled “Here Jerusalem: Looting and Violence in Issawiya,” B’Tselem analyzes the policy that Israel applies in the neighborhood since its annexation to its borders, a policy of land looting, deliberate neglect and lack of planning, brutal extremism power used by Israeli occupation police, and plundered about 90% of the Issawiya lands that was built on 10,000 donums, in favor of the settlers and settlements.

At a time when the occupation bulldozers started the first stage of bulldozing works to construct the new “bypass road,” which was approved by the occupation government in 2014 among a group of other roads in the West Bank under the so-called “stair plan”, which lengths about 7 km, and confiscates about 406 dunums of citizens’ lands, thus, a study made by the ARIJ Institute showed that 31 settlement plans were approved in 26 Israeli settlements during the 1st quarter of 2020, but awaiting implementation. The list issued includes the settlements of Kochav Yaqov, Kfar Adumim, and Givea Benjamin in the Jerusalem Governorate (outside the borders of the Jerusalem municipality) by adding 4078 settlement units over an area of ​​2,294 dunums of Palestinian land, thus, becomes the most affected governorate in Palestine.

On the other hand, European reactions are still most present at the political and diplomatic level in their opposition to the Israeli annexation policy supported by the United States of America. In a joint statement, delegates of the five countries – France, Belgium, Germany, Estonia and Poland assured the United Nations before the start of the UN Security Council’s session on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian issue, that international law is a fundamental pillar of the international system, and that their countries will not recognize any changes in the 1967 borders, unless the Israelis and the Palestinians agree on that. “A two – state solution with Jerusalem being their future capital is the only way to guarantee sustainable peace and stability in the region.”

In a new report issued by the “Yesh Din Organization”, which is considered one of the organizations working in defense of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, said that the agreement to form the new government indicates the desire of the Israeli government to create a permanent unilateral situation, and permanently  to deepening the violation of the Palestinian rights.