Wed 17 Apr 2024 3:14 pm - Jerusalem Time

The Guardian: Israel has accelerated colonization in Jerusalem since the start of the war

Documents published by the British newspaper The Guardian showed that the Israeli government has accelerated the construction of settlements in East Jerusalem since the start of the war on the Gaza Strip on October 7.

The Guardian explained that during that period, more than 20 colonial projects involving thousands of colonial units were approved or moved forward.

It noted that ministries and offices within the Israeli government are behind the largest and most controversial projects, sometimes in conjunction with right-wing nationalist groups that have a history of trying to displace Palestinian citizens from their homes in parts of Jerusalem.

Sari Kronish, of the Israeli human rights organization Bimkom - Planners for Planning Rights, said: “The fast-tracking of these plans is unprecedented in the past six months, at a time when many government agencies were closed or had their operations limited after October 7.” /October, the planning authorities continued to press forward, pushing these plans forward at an unprecedented speed.”

According to the documents, these projects will provide colonial units in parts of Jerusalem that Israel unilaterally annexed in 1980, and are likely to constitute an obstacle to any attempt to establish a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Guardian newspaper indicated that the Israeli planning authorities have approved the construction of two new colonies in East Jerusalem since the outbreak of the war, and it is also scheduled to move forward with the expansion of the “Kedmat Zion” colony, in the heart of the Palestinian Ras al-Amud neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

The town of Beit Safafa, most of which is located in East Jerusalem, is now surrounded by two major colonial projects. One of them, known as Givat Hamatos, was frozen for ten years due to international opposition. Work on it resumed in 2020, and last month the site was crowded with workers. Heavy machinery and trucks.

According to the latest official planning documents, the initiator of the project is the Israel Lands Authority, a governmental body.

Another major colonial project, known as Givat Shaked, will be built on the northwestern side of Beit Safafa, on a plot of land of grass and trees.

According to the newspaper, the “Givat Shaked” colonial project has faced international opposition since it was first proposed in the mid-1990s, which prompted Washington to put pressure on Israel to stop it.

Two years ago, the colonial plan regained momentum, and the Minister of the Interior at the time, Ayelet Shaked, rejected any Palestinian control over East Jerusalem, and claimed that it was unreasonable to prevent development and construction in this area, or anywhere else in East Jerusalem.

The full planning was approved on January 4 of this year, according to the Guardian.

There is a third colonial project, also near Beit Safafa, located on the dividing line between East Jerusalem and the western part of the city, and is known as the “Lower Canal.” It includes the construction of a large colony adjacent to one of the Palestinian neighborhoods, and it was approved on December 29 last year.



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The Guardian: Israel has accelerated colonization in Jerusalem since the start of the war