Israel preparing for 9000 new settlement units near Qalandia

The new settlement plan will take over 68 Dunums in Qalqilya

Jerusalem24 – Israeli crews are carrying out infrastructure work on the land of Al-Quds International Airport in Qalandia, in preparation for the establishment of a new settlement comprising 9,000 housing units.

Israeli bulldozers are actively excavating the airport land, even without obtaining final approval for the establishment of the settlement, which will completely isolate Jerusalem from its northern side from the city of Ramallah.

The Israeli Peace Now movement said, “Plan No. 764936, prepared by the Israeli Ministry of Housing, includes the construction of 9,000 housing units in the airport area.”

Peace now added, “in the agenda of the Jerusalem District Planning Committee, December 6 was set for a discussion of the plan.”

They continued, “after approving the plan, the public can submit comments and objections within 60 days of publication, and after hearing the objections in the Objections Subcommittee of the District Committee, the plan is brought for approval, then the plan is published and permits can be issued to start construction.”

Peace Now indicated that, “if this plan is approved and its construction begins, this will be the first new settlement in East Jerusalem since the Netanyahu government built the settlement Har Homa in 1997.”

“This is a very dangerous plan that could deal a serious blow to the two-state solution,” Peace Now said.

they also pointed out that the planned settlement is located at the heart of the Palestinian urban territorial contiguity between Ramallah and East Jerusalem, and thus prevents the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. They stressed that, “the government must remove the plan from the agenda immediately and put it on hold.”

They said, “the plan aims to cut off Palestinian continuity and become an Israeli enclave that would prevent the Palestinians from the most central and important development in the future Palestinian state, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem.”

They added that the establishment of a settlement containing thousands of housing units, which means tens of thousands of Israelis, would make any future two-state agreement difficult due to the lack of Palestinian continuity and damage to the possibility of establishing a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

On the other hand, the Israeli authorities are expected to approve the seizure of 68 dunums of citizens’ lands in the Qalqilya governorate, in favor of a settlement project aimed at expanding a road linking the cities of Qalqilya and Nablus, or the so-called “Street No. 55”, This was reported by the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, on Tuesday.

“Haaretz” revealed that there is a plan to expand the settlements adjacent to the street, to build 5,650 new settlement units in the next few years.

Commenting on this, Muhammad Abu Al-Sheikh, a local activist, explained that this decision was issued in 2019, and includes the seizure of about 85 dunums of Qalqilya and Habla lands south of the governorate, and the expansion of the aforementioned street to range in width between 60-150 meters.

And he indicated that the street is known as “The Nursery Street”, where 14 agricultural nurseries are spread on its sides, employing hundreds of workers, and from which about 500 families live, in addition to the presence of 4 artesian wells.

Abu Al-Sheikh added that Israel aims, through this settlement project, to end the connection between the city of Qalqilya and the town of Habla, by seizing the agricultural lands between them, and it also opens the way to link the city of “Kfar Saba” within the the green line with the settlement of Alfe Menashe located on the Palestinian lands in Qalqilya and Habla, and thus work to abolish the Palestinian presence.

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