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Settlement round-up: Thousands new homes planned for East Jerusalem, West Bank

A breakdown of the myriad of settlement plans being aggressively pursued in recent weeks.

By Hagit Ofran and Lior Amihai

The past few weeks may have been confusing for those who try to keep track of Israeli settlement activity. So many plans and approvals, some of which are lethal for the two-state solution, make it clear that the Netanyahu government has decided to push forward as many plans as possible in order to determine facts on the ground before the elections in Israel, as long as there is no “threat” of any renewal of the peace process.

Following are the details of the recent developments in settlements:

1. E1 and 3,000 new tenders
2. Plans for 6,600 units in East Jerusalem
3. Givat Hamatos
4. Tenders in Efrat, Karnei Shomron and Givat Ze’ev
5. A Palestinian family is threatened with eviction in Sheikh Jarrah

1. E1 and 3,000 new tenders – Following the UN resolution on a Palestinian state, the government of Netanyahu announced the intention to promote planning in E1 and to issue 3,000 tenders in settlements in East Jerusalem. On December 5, the plans for the construction of 3,426 units in E1 were approved for depositing.

See more here: Everything you need to know about E1

2. Plans for 6,600 units in East Jerusalem – in parallel, almost all of the main pending plans for East Jerusalem were promoted. Using a fast track planning process, the planning committee in Jerusalem is approving plans in Givat Hamatos, Ramat Shlomo and Gilo.

See more details here.

3. Givat Hamatos – Givat Hamatos is a plan that, if built, could prevent territorial continuity between Bethlehem and the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Zafafa in South Jerusalem, and could thus prevent the possibility for a two-state solution with a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

The plan in Givat Hamatos is divided into four plans (A, B, C and D). The largest and the most lethal of them is Givat Hamatos A, for 2,610 units, which was approved by the local planning committee this past week. The regional planning committee surprisingly rejected plan C. However, the rejection unfortunately does not prevent the damage from the other plans.

See more here.

4. Tenders in Efrat, Karnei Shomron and Givat Ze’ev – On December 18, Israeli Channel 2 reported that next week, the Ministry of Housing will publish several tenders for hundreds of units in West Bank settlements of Efrat, Karnei Shomron and Givat Ze’ev. These are part of the 3,000 units announced by the government following the UN bid.

5. And in addition to all that, a Palestinian family in Sheikh Jarrah is under threat of being kicked out of its home in order to enable settlers to move in. The issue of settlements at the heart of Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. Sheikh Jarrah in particular became a central political issue after, in 2009, two Palestinian families were kicked out of their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and settlers moved in. Another eviction would add more tension and friction to the fragile and sensitive situation in East Jerusalem.

The involvement of an official government authority in the eviction is of specific concern. See more here.

Finally, and unfortunately, it seems that there will be more to come, all too soon.

Hagit Ofran is the director the Settlement Watch project of Peace Now. Lior Amihai is a staff member on the Settlement Watch project.

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    1. Khaled Khalid

      The Palestinians Swap, leaving the West Bank and move into the Homes of New York Jews in America never to return to the West Bank or Gaza.
      The New York Jews become permanent residents of Israel and never leave “This Land is Mine”.

      Fair Swap?

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        Why don’t we just buy the West Bank Palestinians nice houses in Jordan or Syria? It sounds like you approve of compensation in return for them leaving in principle, so now we are just negotiating the price.

        Reply to Comment
    2. carl

      Kolumn, because they are ‘more palestinians’ than you are an israeli.
      It is much more easy for you to move to NY than for them to move in Syria.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        Certainly true for me, not even remotely true for most Israelis and Palestinians. Syria and Jordan speak the same language and have the same religions as the Palestinians. Most Israelis would have a more difficult time adjusting to NY than Palestinians adjusting to say Jordan which already has a 70% Palestinian majority.

        Reply to Comment
        • Rauna

          There’re so many jews in New York. Israelis can easily fit in. After all most of those who make aliyah to Israel actually came from New York and they still probably keep the keys of their houses.

          Reply to Comment
    3. Khaled Khalid

      Israel can’t be Cost Free for Zionists. It has to be New York or Florida or California.
      There has to be a price paid for wanting a biblical Israel in this day and age.

      And you can’t have a home in New York and kill Palestinian children and still call yourself a “Liberal”. You either move to an “All White” Israel and swap your nice home in America with a Palestinian’s on the West Bank…or you shut up and start acting like the human being you profess to be, following Judaic principles.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn9

        I noticed that you are now willing to consider California and Florida. I presume this means we negotiating. Ok. I’ll go as high as paying for apartments in Lebanon, but that is my final offer.

        Reply to Comment

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