Israel to build new settlement colonies in East Jerusalem

A plan for a new illegal Jewish settlement in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem has been submitted for approval to city hall, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

Israel to build new settlement colonies in East Jerusalem

A plan for a new illegal Jewish settlement in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem has been submitted for approval to city hall, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

The plan calls for construction of about 104 units in the Ras Al-Mud neighbourhood, currently home to some 14,000 Palestinians, the Haaretz newspaper reported, quoting sources at the occupied Jerusalem municipality.

"This plan for massive construction in a high-density Palestinian area is extremely dangerous for the urban equilibrium," said Yariv Oppenheimer, the head of settlement watchdog Peace Now.

Approval of the plan is certain to cause a storm amid US efforts to get Israel to freeze all settlement activity on occupied Palestinian land in order to revive the stalled peace process.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the call for a total freeze, but in a gesture to Washington he agreed last week not to issue any new construction tenders in the occupied West Bank until early 2010.

The US administration welcomed the announcement as a move in the right direction, but critics said it fell far short of demands for a total freeze in settlements, one of the main stumbling blocks in the peace talks.

Washington has called for a settlement freeze in both West Bank and East Jerusalem, Palestinian territories which Israel occupied in its war against its neighbours in 1967.

In a report published on Sunday, Peace Now said almost 600 units have been constructed in the West Bank since the start of the year, including 96 structures in outposts.

"The construction continues with government support in the large settlement blocs and in a roundabout manner in isolated colonies," the report said.

About half a million illegal Jewish settlers currently live in settlements in both West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Under international law, neither East nor West Jerusalem is considered Israel's capital. Tel Aviv is recognised as Israel's capital, pending a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.

East Jerusalem is considered by the international community to be illegally occupied by Israel, in contravention of several binding UN Security Council Resolutions.

In these resolutions, the United Nations Security Council has also called for no measures to be taken to change the status of Jerusalem until a final settlement is reached between the sides.

Declaring Jerusalem as Israel's capital is an attempt to change this status, and is thus a violation of these Security Council resolutions.


Agencies

Last Mod: 23 Ağustos 2009, 15:17
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