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Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign

August: Israeli settlement expansion heats up

Israel has apparently taken advantage of the holiday season of Western diplomacy and at the UN headquarters in New York to speed up its settlement expansion, approving shocking colonial projects. While further penetrating the center of Hebron with settlements, a new plan to completely ghettoise Bethlehem has been presented. The Bedouin school in Khan al Ahmar, east of Jerusalem, is once again targeted for demolition while only 100 meters from the al Aqsa Mosque a new ‘archeological’ excavation project has been started. In total, projects for over 11 thousand new settlement housing units have been approved or announced.

Hebron:

  • A new plan to reinforce the settlements along the Green Line to the South of Hebron has been announced. This includes the construction of a commercial center, medical clinic, an industrial zone and dozens of housing units on the land isolated by the Apartheid Wall. The purpose is to wipe out the Green Line and create a cohesive settlement infrastructure and environment until deep into the West Bank.

  • A new plan to build an industrial zone near Tarqumia Checkpoint, west of Hebron, has been announced.

  • A plan to build a commercial center linked to the Tene and Mor Farm settlement on the lands owned by Al-Ramadin village, south of Hebron, has been approved.

  • Israel revealed the approval of a new colony in Al Shuhada street, in the center of Hebron and close to the old central bus station in the old city of Hebron, in order to reinforce the colonization of the city center and to take total control.

Bethlehem:

  • Israel has confiscated 1700 dunums in a mountainous area belonging jointly to the Palestinian villages of Al Khader, Irtas and Wadi Rahal for the construction of 2500 housing unit. The first phase of construction includes 800 settler housing units. This new colony will separate Bethlehem from the villages that belong to its hinterland in the southeast and will strengthen Efrat settlement.

  • This plan implies the modification of the Wall’s path to the south of Bethlehem, including isolation of another 10,000 dunums and an increase in the length of the Wall of 10 km. This will bring the total length of the Wall in Bethlehem district to 92 km.

  • This project is connected to the latest announcement of the Israeli Minister of Housing, Yoav Galant, that the Gush Etzion settlement will be able to accommodate 500,000 settlers in 10 years time.

Jerusalem:

  • South of Jerusalem: Israel announced 2500 housing units that are to be built inside the settlement of Gilo and from there towards the tunnels in Beit Jala. This follows the announcement of 770 housing units in Gilo last month, which provoked even the protests of the British foreign ministry.

  • Old City of Jerusalem: Israel announced 2000 housing units including commercial buildings to be built along the path of the Jerusalem Light Rail. Palestinians have since long protested the construction of this settlement transport infrastructure.

  • 100 meters south of Al Aqsa Mosque and 40 meters from the ancient Wall of Jerusalem, Israel started new ‘archeological’ excavation site. The site is located at the entrance of Wadi Helweh neighborhood of Silwan.

  • East of Jerusalem: Israel issued another demolition order to destroy the Khan al Ahmar school that serves 170 children of the Jahaleen Bedouin communities in Khan el Ahmar area. In the nearby settlement in Maale Adumim, instead, the Israel State Land Department in cooperation with Development Corporation of Maale Adumim announced the construction of a hotel, a commercial area and a factory for motor construction. At the beginning of this year, Israel announced the construction of 10,000 housing units in Maale Adumim.

  • North of Jerusalem: 62 housing units a public garden and a high rise building for governments offices has been approved in the settlement of Pisgat Ze’ev.

  • West of Jerusalem: 56 settlement housing units have been approved this month Ramot settlement, which add to the 700 housing units approved last month.

Ramallah:

  • In Modi’in, west of Ramallah, 4200 settlement housing units have been approved, including a commercial center and an industrial zone. for this construction 1140 dunum of Palestinian land have been confiscated. 
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