Palestine: Israel approves the construction of 1300 units in East Jerusalem
By Saed Bannoura
International Middle East Media Centre:
The Israeli Authorities approved this week the construction of 1300 settler-only homes in the illegal settlement of Ramat Shlomo, near Beit Hanina Palestinian neighborhood in the occupied East Jerusalem, the Arabs38 news website reported.
The new constructions were approved by the so-called The Regional Committee for Construction and Planning.
The new decision raises the number of settler homes approved for construction since the Annapolis summit in November 2007 to 7974.
It is worth mentioning that there are nearly 2000 settler homes in Ramat Shlomo and this new construction plan will expand the settlement by more than 55%.
The new plan is another Israeli violation to the Road Map Peace Plan and the understandings of the Annapolis Summit as Israel is creating new forced realities in East Jerusalem in order to block any withdrawal from the occupied city under any future peace deal.
Peace groups in Israel said that Israel is significantly increasing the number of settlements in the occupied territories and that the Israeli government approved the construction of 16000 houses for the settlers between the years of 2002 and 2006.
This number is added to the 7974 settler homes approved for construction since the Annapolis summit.
In its July 9, 2004 ruling, the International Court of Justice stated that all settlements in the occupied territories are illegal and obstruct peace.
“Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development [… and] have been established in breach of international law.”