The Islamic-Christian Committee for Defending Jerusalem and the Holy Sites, warned on Sunday of a new Israeli plan to build 386 units for Jewish` settlers in Sheikh Jarrah Palestinian neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.
The Committee issued a press release stating that Israel is ongoing with its serious violations against the Palestinian people and their homes in East Jerusalem, and is acting to foil the recently achieved Palestinian unity agreement.
Hasan Khater, secretary-general of the committee, said that the so-called Israeli regional Construction and Planning Committee, approved the new constructions recently.
Khater added that the constructions will be conducted on 8000 square/meters, and will include a synagogue, a religious Jewish school (Yeshiva), and a kindergarten.
He further stated that the project is in its final planning stages and is financed by Jewish billionaire, Arieh King, in cooperation with a fundamentalist settler organization. The project will eventually displace more than 300 Jerusalemite Palestinians.
Khater said that this project, one of several settlement projects in occupied East Jerusalem, aims at reducing the Arab presence in the city and the geographical contiguity with the rest of the West Bank.
On Wednesday, an Israeli court will be looking into appeals filed against orders to demolish several Palestinian homes in Al Bustan neighborhood, in the occupied city.
Khater warned that Israel wants to remove the Arab residents from the city and control their lands as it is planning to build what it calls “King David Gardens” on a total of 350.000 square/meters of Palestinian lands.
The illegal Israeli policy of settlement construction and expansion was the main cause that pushed the Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from the peace process.
Under International Law and the Fourth Geneva Conventions, settlements are illegal and constitute war crimes. The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of their future Palestinian State.
(www.imemc.org / 10.05.2011)