Israeli occupation has pushed on with plans to build new settler units in east Al-Quds (Jerusalem), a watchdog group said Sunday, warning such efforts were being stepped up before US President Donald Trump leaves office.
The latest move saw the Israeli Land Authority issue construction tenders in Givat Hamatos, a currently uninhabited area of east Al-Quds next to the mainly Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa.
In February, Israel’s right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the approval of 3,000 homes in the area.
He said 2,000 would be allocated for Jews, and 1,000 for Arab residents of Beit Safafa.
Last week, the Land Authority issued tenders for the construction of more than 1,200 mostly settlerl units in Givat Hamatos.
Ir Amim, an Israeli civil society organization that tracks settlements in Al-Quds and called attention to the tenders on Sunday, warned that the next two months in the lead-up to the change in Washington “will be a critical period”.
“We believe that Israel will attempt to exploit this time to advance moves that the incoming administration will potentially oppose,” it said in a statement.
Ir Amim reiterated concerns that settlement construction in Givat Hamatos would be a devastating blow to peace negotiations because it would cut east Al-Quds off from Bethlehem, disrupting the territorial continuity of a future Palestinian state.
Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, said the Givat Hamatos tenders amounted to an attempt by the Israeli occupation “to kill the internationally-supported two state solution”.
Source: AFP (edited by Al-Manar English Website)