The Planning and Building Committee of the Israeli occupation municipality will meet in Jerusalem today, Wednesday, to approve plans to build settlements south of Jerusalem, for the first time since the administration of US President Joe Biden took office on January 20.
Haaretz newspaper reported that the committee is expected to approve a plan to build 540 new settlement units in the area south of Jerusalem and on Mount Abu Ghneim, north of Bethlehem, between the settlements of Har Homa and Givat Hamatos.
The newspaper pointed out that the Israeli occupation authorities will start building more than 2000 housing units in the settlement of “Givat Hamatos”, also located south of Jerusalem.
It is noteworthy that the settlement construction scheme in “Har Homa” and “Givat Hamatos” geographically isolates the Jerusalem village of “Beit Safafa” from its Palestinian surroundings and this coincides with the creation of settlement expansion.
The human rights organizations indicate that settlement expansion in “Har Homa” and “Givat Hamatos” will prevent the division of the eastern and western parts of Jerusalem in any possible future political settlement between the occupation government and the Palestinians.
According to Haaretz, construction in Har Homa is a particularly sensitive issue for the US administration and the international community in general, as it is one of the only two settlement neighborhoods that were built on the Palestinian side of the Green Line in Jerusalem after the Oslo Accords.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced in a special press conference a plan to build 3,500 settlement units east of occupied Jerusalem, as part of the expansion of the settlement project in the area known as “E1”, in light of the acceleration of settlement construction and the approval of settlement plans during the era of the administration Former American headed by Donald Trump.
In this context, the newspaper quoted Ir Amim, the planning lobby coordinator at the Israeli human rights association, “The payment of the settlement plan is disturbing news for those who believed that changing administrations in the United States will force Israel to curb settlement construction.”
In 2010, Tel Aviv’s approval to build 1,600 settlement units in the “Ramat Shlomo” settlement on the lands of the town of Shuafat, north of occupied Jerusalem, sparked an Israeli-American crisis, as the decision coincided with the presence of US Vice President Joe Biden in the entity.
With the election of Biden as President of the United States of America after 10 years, the incident comes to mind, raising questions about Biden’s position on settlement, after his inauguration as president on January 20.
The US Democratic Party, to which Biden belongs, and the US president-elect himself, are opposed to the settlement, as he expressed this during his election campaign.
(Source / 07.04.2021)