By: Madeeha Al-A’raj
The National Bureau for defending land and resisting settlements ( nbprs ) stated in its latest weekly report , Israeli Planning and Building Committee revealed a project to expand a number of settlements, of which are the ‘Adam’ and ‘Sha’er Binyamin’ settlements that were built on the lands of Jaba and Hizma villages, with 600 settlement units for Adam and 285 for Sha’er Binyamin. Knowing that the decision comes within the context of expanding infrastructure, tunnels, and widening streets, and within the policy of encircling the city of Jerusalem and expanding its borders to 10% of the West Bank, and to impose a fait accompli in the so-called ‘Greater Jerusalem’ and to divide the West Bank into ghettos, the north, center and south.
They became isolated and impossible to link them to each other only by tunnels and bridges controlled by Israel, which aim to Judaize the city and empty it of its Arab residents by various means, including the application of various forms of discrimination and apartheid systems that affect the environment, urban planning systems and religious discrimination. ethnicity and separating the city from its Palestinian surroundings as steps aimed at maintaining the political situation in the city and transforming it by force as the capital of the occupying state according to the Knesset’s decision in 2008, after they annexed it to the western part and declared it the capital of the State of Israel.
Recently, the occupation authorities completed the construction of a new Judaization building in the Moroccan Neighborhood adjacent to Al-Aqsa, under the supervision of the Western Wall Legacy Fund, which is directly affiliated to the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, knowing that erecting the building began in mid-2017, after Arab and Islamic monuments and antiquities were erased in the place, with the aim of accommodating the largest number of settlers. In addition to a new and dangerous plan to expand the Moroccan Gate in order to enable the entry of settlers in greater numbers from Al-Buraq Square. The new buildingincludes 4 floors overlooking the Al-Buraq Wall.
The first floor contains parking lots to facilitate the access of extremist settlers with their vehicles to the building, and the second floor houses a biblical school for teaching the Torah and the “temple priests.”
As part of what it names ‘infrastructure development’, the occupation municipality in Jerusalem continues changing the features of Jerusalem’s streets. It is paints the streets and neighborhoods of the occupied city with a forged Jewish character, and obliterate its features by rehabilitating the infrastructure, changing its names and crossing it, placing Judaizing fingerprints and signs with Biblical names in that area, plants security posts and installs surveillance cameras there, besides renovating the yard of the Electricity Company on Salah El-Din Al-Ayoubi Street, building a boulevard along Sultan Suleiman and Al-Anbiya Streets, transforming the current city areas into spaces designated for pedestrians and planting trees.
Within the context, the Center for International Peace and Cooperation – IPCC – revealed in a study prepared by it on Israeli plans for economic development in East Jerusalem that the Ministry of Jerusalem and Settlement Affairs has expanded and approved a plan to build a settlement tower on the lands of Shuafat Neighborhood, northeast of occupied Jerusalem, under the name of the operational management of the French Hill settlement, at a height of 25 floors instead of 18.
This huge settlement project includes the construction of a car park on the other side of the tunnel of the French Hill settlement, on the lands of the occupied of Lifta village, with a height of 4 floors that can absorb 1,000 cars for the red line of the ‘light rail’ that connects West Jerusalem with the settlements north of East occupied Jerusalem. Work is taking place here behind the Israeli police station at the southern entrance to the Shuafat Neighborhood, after deducting an area of private Palestinian-owned land for the project.
The tunnel will change the geography and traffic movement in the north of occupied Jerusalem, as it diverts the movement of settlers from above the land to its interior and connects them to the settlements “French Hill” and “Psgat Ze’ev”, and another continuous with the settlement of “Ma’ale Adumim” and the settlements of the Jordan Valley without the need for entering East Jerusalem.