Israeli settlement construction near East Jerusalem intensifies, with new construction at residential homes and new residential compounds
Israel plans to construct at least 10 new residential housing units in East Jerusalem in what would be the largest residential project in the occupied West Bank.
The housing is likely to be constructed in the Haifa neighborhood, which is known to have large Arab communities.
Israel plans to begin building at least five new residential houses and a new residential compound in the area, in an area already home to about 500,000 people.
“These developments will help the communities living in East Ramallah, the West Bank, and in the Gaza Strip in their access to a healthy and livable life,” said Yotam Ben-Ari, director of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, in a statement.
“We are looking forward to working with all parties to achieve a sustainable solution that is fair for the Palestinian citizens of East Ramlah and to ensure that the rights of Palestinian citizens will be protected.”
In addition to the residential buildings, Israel plans four other residential compounds in East Ma’aleh Adumim, a Palestinian city south of Jerusalem.
The four additional residential projects are expected to generate about 8,000 jobs, according to B’tselem.
Israel also plans to establish residential schools in the East Ramah area, and plans to build more than 200 residential schools over the next decade.
Israel is the only party in the peace process to have built settlements in the West on land captured by Israel from the Palestinians in 1967.
In response to the Palestinian Authority’s rejection of the Oslo Accords, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a controversial program in 2005 to build nearly 20,000 new settler homes in East and West Jerusalem, and build a new Palestinian city, Nablus.
Israel is also planning to construct a large new military base in the Jordan Valley in the west of the West Jerusalem area.