***image2***Over the past month, the Israeli administration has continued to simultaneously expand the settlement ring around Jerusalem while targeting Palestinian homes for demolition. The construction of sewage, electrical and communications infrastructure is ongoing while new settler roads and housing units are planned. At the same time, Occupation forces have delivered more demolition orders to a number of Palestinian neighbourhoods.
Despite international calls for a settlement freeze, official plans have been established for the construction of a new roads in the Betar Ilit settlement. Contractors were asked to detail the plans for the construction of a new road in the settlement and are set to visit the settlement at the end of next month.
The construction of this road is also likely to be used in order to connect Betar Ilit to the Bani Bietkha settlement, where new buildings are to be sold to private owners. It is also suspected that during Netanyahuâs visit to the United States, contractors would develop construction plans within the Beqa’ot Hardin settlement in the Jordan Valley so as to house settlers formally living in Gaza.
Also around Jerusalem, work is also being undertaken to link the Kedar settlement, built on the Palestinian land belonging to the communities of Abu Dis and as-Sawahira, to the larger settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. The Israeli national water company Mekerot is currently building a sewage system for Qedar on as-Sawahira land which will extend for 1.4km. Construction is also taking place in the area Farha, located between the settlements, to prepare roads and extended electrical and telephone lines.
In addition, the Israeli government plans to build 6000 new settlements units in the area.
At the same time, Occupation forces continue to try to force Palestinians from Jerusalem. 30 demolition orders have been served to owners of the 88 homes in the Bustan neighbourhood already under threat, and harassment of the community continues. Later in the month, more demolition orders were distributed in several East Jerusalem neighbourhoods. New orders were served in Beit Hanina, Shu’fat and Wadi Qaddoum in Silwan.