The Occupation has started destruction for a new segregated road that connects settlements in Jerusalem with those in the east of the city. The path of the road crosses Palestinian land, in this instance leading to a seizure from al-Quds University in Beit Hanina.
A large force consisting of Occupation soldiers, bulldozers and heavy machinery destroyed an area within the grounds of al-Quds University bulldozing olive trees and cutting off 10 dunums of land.
The university held a press conference at its Beit Hanina campus to protest the work. Vice president Hassan Dweik confirmed that the new road has lead to the loss of 10 dunums and the destruction of property on the western part of the campus. He stated that the university administration has hired a number of lawyers in an attempt to halt the attacks on the university, which is attended by hundreds of students. The administration refuses to cede any property, noting that there are plans to implement developmental projects on this site. They also announced that they plan to organize protests in the coming days to change the course of the road.
The road, which will reach a length of 4 km, passes through the center of new Beit Hanna. It will link the Pisgat Zeâev settlement and Nabi Yacob with the Atarot industrial settlement and settler road (n. 443). Ostensibly, the aim of the road is to alleviate traffic problems between road (n. 1) and the French Hill settlement. It is clear, however, that the goal of this construction is to facilitate the movement of settlers at the expense of Palestinian communities, confiscating their lands and further isolating them in order to better serve the Judaization of Jerusalem.
All this comes at a time when the city of Jerusalem is under fierce attack by the Occupation. A wave of settlement expansion is in full swing; building projects are intensifying while Palestinian communities are being further cut off from each other by the Wall, the near-completed tramway and bypass highways.