By Saed Bannoura
IMEMC & Agencies: Israeli “News One” news website reported that the “Lands Authority” of the Israeli Housing Ministry approved the construction of additional 120 units in the Givat Ze’ev illegal settlement, in occupied Jerusalem.
The news agency said that an official at the Ministry stated that the Lands Authority announced bids for the construction of new units in the settlement, and that several construction agencies submitted applications before an Israeli company, known as “Nathaniel” won the new bids.
The plan includes the construction of 68 units that would be built in three structures, in addition to playgrounds and other structures.
On Thursday April 25, 2013, Israeli bulldozers uprooted dozens of trees on a hill close to the Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa) illegal settlement, east of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, in order to pave a new road that leads to a planned settlement “neighborhood” of 3000 homes for Jewish settlers.
Bethlehem Governor, Abdul-Fattah Hamayil, stated that the new violation is part of a decision made by the Jerusalem City Council to build more illegal settlement units on Palestinian lands in the area.
Settlements Researcher at the Applied Research Institute (ARIJ) Suheil Khaliliyya, stated that the road Israel is preparing for is part of settlement neighborhood “C” that includes 3000 units, and that Israel is planning to construct 800 in the first phase.
He further stated that, two years ago, Israel built a water distillation plant in “Har Homa C”, as an apparent preparation for more construction and expansion of the settlements.
The researcher said that the current phase includes the construction of two settlement neighborhoods in the area, referred to as C and D, and that each neighborhood will include 3000 units. The project is also meant to link between Givat Hamatos, Gilo and Har Homa.
He added that the constructions are meant to boost the settlement belt that aims at isolating Jerusalem from Bethlehem, effectively preventing a viable “peace agreement” that would lead to an independent and contiguous Palestinian state.
Israel’s settlement in the occupied West Bank, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem are built in direct violation of International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention to which Israel is a signatory.