Israel approved 12,000 new settler units, demolished 177 Palestinian buildings in Jerusalem in 2021, says ministry


Israeli officials approved plans for the construction of thousands of new housing units and demolished dozens of Palestinian-owned buildings in occupied al-Quds last year, the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs says.

In a report on Sunday, the ministry said Israeli authorities green-lighted a host of plans in order to build about 12,000 units in the contested holy city throughout 2021, while they razed 177 Palestinian residences there.

They also ordered demolition of another 200 homes in occupied Jerusalem.

Israeli forces also killed 13 residents of the city, arrested more than 2,784 others, and forcibly evicted more than 490 Palestinians from their ancestral homes there.

Israel regularly flattens Palestinian homes and structures in Jerusalem on the pretext that they lack building permits, expropriating more Palestinian lands to expand its illegal settlements.

The international community considers Israeli settlement construction illegal under international law.

Nearly 700,000 Israelis settlers live in illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned Israel’s settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian lands.

In May, Israel’s land grab in the occupied West Bank sparked a war between the military and Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza Strip that lasted 11 days. During the war, Israel’s relentless bombardment of Gaza killed over 250 Palestinians, including 66 children.

In addition to expanding its illegal settlements, Israel restricts freedom of movement for Palestinians not only in and out of Palestine but also within it. Israeli settlers, backed by the military, also routinely storm the al-Aqsa mosque and provoke clashes with Palestinian worshipers.

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