Israel to approve master plan to expand Jewish zones in east J’lem

Israel to approve master plan to expand Jewish zones in east J’lem

The newspaper said that the expansion of these settlements will be at the expense of privately-owned Palestinian property and the construction committee will give objectors to the plan 60 days to submit their reservations in this regard.

“Once the 60-day period expires, the plan’s approval is a fait accompli. Such a development would probably invite a hail of criticism from the Palestinians, Arab countries and the international community,” Haaretz added.

The master plan was prepared in 2008 by Moshe Cohen, the former chief planner at the interior ministry, and was supported by the construction committee in Jerusalem.

For its part, Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said that settlement construction in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, specifically at the site of the historic Shepherd hotel started Sunday, just a few days before Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu was to leave for Washington to meet with the US president.

The newspaper added Sunday that Israeli bulldozers had already arrived at the site in order to demolish the hotel in preparation for the construction of 20 new Jewish homes.

It noted that Netanyahu, besides this Shepherd hotel project, has also to provide pretexts during his meeting with the US president for another plan ordering the demolition of 22 Arab homes in Silwan area and the building of a Jewish garden in their place.

In another incident, Jerusalemite young men clashed Sunday evening with Israeli troops and unruly settlers in the areas of Bir Ayub and Ein Al-Luza as well as Al-Rajbi neighborhood in Silwan area, south of the Aqsa Mosque, after a group of settlers attacked them and opened fire at them. Several Palestinian injuries were reported. 

Eyewitness told the Palestinian information center (PIC) reporter that the confrontations and the settler’s gunfire caused dozens of injuries among the Palestinian young men, while the Israeli troops prevented ambulances from reaching the wounded.

At the time of reporting, more Israeli military reinforcements were sent to the areas of clashes and special units started to fire rubber bullets and tear gas grenades to disperse the angry young men.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian young man was seriously wounded and dozens sustained tear gas suffocation when Israeli troops attacked the mosque of Al-Thawri neighborhood in Jerusalem.

20 Jerusalemite citizens from Al-Rajbi neighborhood in Silwan area had been injured during troops’ night raid that lasted until the early morning hours of Sunday.

On the evening of the same day, dozens of Palestinians and seven Israeli soldiers were reportedly injured during confrontations that broke out in Battn Al-Hawa neighborhood in Silwan.

The confrontations started when Israel troops intervened to protect a group of violent settlers who tried to seize by force a Palestinian house belonging to the family of Abu Nab.