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New Settlement Plans in Occupied Jerusalem

Jerusalem24 – The Israeli District Planning and Building Committee has approved three large settlement projects south of occupied Jerusalem, including the construction of 600 settlement units on the lands of Walaja, Beit Safafa, the expansion of the industrial zone on the outskirts of Bethlehem, and the establishment of hotels.

The occupation municipality said in a statement, that two huge plans for the station complex were also approved, comprising 500 settlement units in eight buildings of 10 to 5 floors, commercial and employment areas, and hotels.

It said: The “old train” station complex in the Al-Thawri neighborhood, south of the Old City, will be transformed into a commercial center, building 600 settlement units, and a bustling cultural and entertainment center in Jerusalem on weekends.

Adding that the second plan – “Compound C” – was approved on an area of ​​about 13.1 dunums, as the plan proposes the construction of three buildings of 10 to 5 floors, with 270 housing units, in addition, the plan includes 70 hotel rooms and 3,000 square meters for work. And trade on the commercial fronts along the streets, and an open public area of ​​2.3 acres.

Acting Head of the Planning Committee Shira Talmi Babai, Jerusalem District Coordinator in the Planning Department, noted that “both plans represent a practical implementation of the master plan recently adopted by the District Committee, which aims to establish an important center in a vibrant cultural and commercial city.” she said.

The old Ottoman railway station complex was built on a total area of ​​about 75 dunums and is located between the neighborhoods of Al-Thawri – Abu Tor, Al-Baqa and the German Colony, and between Darwish Streets, Bethlehem – Hebron. The complex is currently used for recreation, with restaurants, cultural and recreational uses, and passes by the railway park.

According to the master plan prepared and approved by the committee in 2021, which sets a framework for the development of a mixed settlement, employment, and hotel complex, it will be connected by light rail to  settlements inside and outside the borders of Jerusalem – the light rail – and the cable car that will serve as the entrance to the Old City and even the heavy railway station, along The line from Tel Aviv to the industrial zone in Lod.

The District Planning and Building Committee decided to commission three new plans for urban renewal in the city – in the settlements of Kiryat Heuvel, Kiryat Menachem, and Katmonim, which include the construction of 600 housing units


Nadeen Alshaer

Alshaer is a Palestinian journalist, a Birzeit University graduate with a B.A. in TV and Radio Broadcasting Journalism. Alshaer has 6 years of experience in journalism. She currently works as a reporter, editor and presenter/producer for PBC-Palestine TV and Jerusalem24 radio. She’s a UN and Kelley School of Business alumna.

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