Judaization of Jerusalem never stopped since 47 years .. The result is 60 thousand settlement units
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Judaization of Jerusalem never stopped since 47 years .. The result is 60 thousand settlement units

8 6 2014, a Palestinian activist in Jerusalem said that the Israeli occupation authorities continued to work day and night on the Judaization of occupied East Jerusalem since it was occupied 47 years ago, and did not stop even in the period of negotiations, which witnessed a halt on settlement construction. 

Muaath Zaatri, the director of "Al Maqdesi" Foundation in Jerusalem, said that "The accelerated schemes to Judaize and separate Jerusalem from the Palestinian lands must raise the alarm" calling for "a serious stance against with the city of Jerusalem and the rights of Palestinian citizens in Jerusalem and, through a permanent plan of action and not through resonant, worthless and useless slogans."

Building 60 thousand housing units 

Al Zaatari, revealed that occupation government and since it occupied the city of Jerusalem, have worked heavily on the Judaization and Israelization of East Jerusalem, and imposed Israeli laws on the city and on the Palestinian citizens; also it did not stop for once its earnest for the Judaization and Israelization of the rest of Jerusalem. He added that the occupation authorities in this context, seized huge spaces of Jerusalem residents' lands. And brought more than 220 thousand settlers to settle in East Jerusalem, built more than 60 thousand housing units on the territory of East Jerusalem, and separated the Arab neighborhoods in the city from each other and turned them into geographically isolated cantons,  and placed walls to prevent any source of communication. 

He added, that occupation authorities replaced the Arabic names of the streets with Hebrew names, and that in Jewish holidays East Jerusalem turns into a big prison, where palestinians are imprisoned in their houses, they close the streets, settlers move around in the city as they want, in addition to the systematic targeting of 

Al-Aqsa Mosque on a daily basis." 

He added that occupation authorities continued the settlement construction operations since the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967; and it continued silent displacement,  and land confiscation where only 11 per cent of the area of ​​East Jerusalem is left for Palestinians. He also pointed out that settlement neighborhoods are very close to the Palestinian neighborhoods because of the expansion of these neighborhoods on the pretext of natural growth, so it's not possible to distinguish the Arab neighborhoods from settlement neighborhoods.

He described settlement blocs Bechtel as a cancer in the body of occupied Jerusalem, which usually starts with a building then s complex and then a full project. He pointed out that the settlement of Givat Zeev began with 200 housing units and today it has 125 thousand housing units, and now you can imagine how its size will be after ten years as it's growing at the expense of the Palestinian place under the pretext of natural growth. 

He said that "The large number of settlement units, and settlers living in East Jerusalem, makes it impossible to resolve the issue of Jerusalem through negotiations, do you think that Israel will evacuate all these settlements !"

Displacement and deportation 

Al Zaatari confirmed that Israeli policies, influenced directly the displacement and deportation that is targeting the residents of Jerusalem and affected also the natural demographic growth of Palestinians in Jerusalem. They also prevented Palestinians from building houses, they took their identities, preventing them of their right to reside in Jerusalem; this polices was forced many of Palestinians to emigrate outside Jerusalem borders or to the occupied West Bank. 

He said that between 150 to 170 thousand who are originally from Jerusalem, are living outside the borders of Jerusalem and outside the apartheid wall, as a result to these policies; this large number of Jerusalem citizens is a burden to the occupation which is planning to reduce their return to Jerusalem through the withdrawal of their identities, right of residence and housing, under the pretext of residence outside the city's borders that occupation created, to finally displace them. 

Exhausted City 

He said that the picture of East Jerusalem after 47-year of occupation looks sad  and exhausted because of the occupation policies; and it needs us to join hands and for all different sectors in the society to cooperate so it can rise up again. 

He added that the city is suffering from a huge economic paralysis  after the expulsion of Jerusalem citizens, its core economic essence, who were forced by the occupation policies to live outside Jerusalem; and separating it from the West Bank, preventing Palestinians in the West Bank from entering Jerusalem because of the checkpoints and the wall, turning the city into isolated "cantons ". 

Al Zaatari also said that in the last three years, East Jerusalem have witnessed and increase in the policies of Judaization and Israelization, the most dangerous practice is that the occupation attempts to divide Al-Aqsa Mosque chronologically so that will allow the settlers to enter the mosque under the pretext of tourism from eight o'clock until noon prayers on a daily basis. 

He added that the Israeli municipality, declared that the mosques' yards are public places and every citizen has the right to be there at any time, and in whatever situation they want, completely ignoring the sanctity of this place.  

He pointed out the increased arrests in the city, as they record between 30 to 50 arrests in a daily basis in various parts of Jerusalem, as well as  raiding houses, limiting movement, preventing prayer in Al-Aqsa Mosque, closures, checkpoints, dismemberment of the Arab neighborhoods, and preventing the movement from one neighborhood to another without being submitted to inspections at checkpoints around the Arab neighborhoods. 

Al Zaatari confirmed that the rate of poverty among the citizens of Jerusalem exceeds 85 per cent, indicating that the data issued by the Organization of citizens rights about the rates of poverty among the people of Jerusalem being about 75 per cent is not accurate. 

He said that the organization's data depends on the data from the National Insurance Institute of Israel, which reports only the people who are registered in its records, while and there are a lot of people who did not registered in the National Insurance records, and therefore these unemployed people  are not taken into consideration. 

He pointed out a contradictory equation, that although individual's income in the West Bank is higher than the average income of the individual in Jerusalem, the cost of living in Jerusalem is five times more than the cost if living in the West Bank.

Giving an example, that renting a house in East Jerusalem, costs from 800 to 1000 dollars a month, which is higher than the cost in Dubai and America, and Jerusalem citizen can't pay this amount of money, at the same time they prevent Palestinians from building houses for natural growth. 

He emphasized that there is families in Jerusalem, who don't have money to buy food but they refuse millions of dollars in exchange for giving up their city. 

He estimated that the city needs one billion dollars over two or three years, dedicated to issuing construction licenses for building different institutions and to activate the economy. He pointed out that the occupation authorities as it crack down on Jerusalem citizens and push them to migrate, is starting an economical war, that is apparent in the high rates of unemployment among Jerusalem citizens , and the lack employment opportunities, which is connected to the Israeli labor market. 

Unemployment rate is estimated to be about 22 per cent, pointing to the existence of 75 thousand unemployed individuals out of 350 thousand Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem. 

He explained that this number of unemployed individuals means that only half of the economic engine is unemployed, if we exclude children and women from the total population in East Jerusalem; this pushes Jerusalem citizens to migration in searching for a better place to live with less expenses. 

He revealed the decrease in the number Palestinians living in Jerusalem, in light of the dramatic declined in the number of births, where there are families who decided to have only one child, and some families do not even plan to have children because of this situation, and the lack of places to live.

Neglecting education 

He pointed out that the education sector is not better than the other sectors because occupation authorities deliberately neglecting it, aiming at raising up an ignorant Palestinian youth. 

He added that education sector in Jerusalem is suffering, where there is a significant lack of classrooms ranges between 2,000 and 2,500 classrooms, pointing out that this shortage caused 50 per cent of the students in Jerusalem to dropout from school, which threatens to become a major cultural catastrophe.

He explained that this dropout rate this one of the highest rates in the Middle East and globally; as well as preventing teachers who are coming from the West Bank from entering Jerusalem, because Israel didn't give them permits to enter Jerusalem, this led to a significant lack of teachers. There are also schools in Jerusalem that do not have any teacher, this has increased the size of the problem, and this situation requires international intervention.

22 thousand drug addicts 

He warned of the spread of drugs among young Jerusalem citizens, accusing occupation's security services of being behind this phenomenon which destroys families and Palestinians society in Jerusalem. 

He explained that the rate of drug abuse rate is 22 per cent, one of the highest in the world, compared with the population of East Jerusalem. 

He added that drugs trade take place before the eyes of Israeli police, which does nothing to stop this phenomenon, pointing out that those who promote these drugs are Israeli security services clients , with the aim of destroying the Palestinian youth. 

Different references 

He said "there is no Palestinian leadership in Jerusalem, and the current leadership is in a state of confusion due to the lack of a clear reference; in fact there are a number of references, but there references need a reference. This different references contributed to the waste of Jerusalem citizens' rights." 

"The official position of the Palestinian leadership is weak this is the best way to describe it, in the absence of Arab and Islamic clear stance on what is happening in Jerusalem." 

He stressed that in spite of all the difficulties and Israeli policies, "the love of Jerusalem residents to their city is the biggest motivation behind their steadfastness, their attachment to their city and their fight against Israeli policies." 

He also stressed that Jerusalem "will remain Arabic and Islamic, it will not be part of Israel, and that this case will not be solve through negotiations or a peace treaty with the occupation; since we believe that this occupation is exceptional and will end" according to his assertion.

Source: Quds Press International News Agency