Tafakji: Settlement expansion in Jerusalem is most serious
Khalil al-Tafkji, an expert on Jewish settlements and maps, said on Thursday that the main settlement expansions are planned for the major Jewish settlements which the occupation intends to annex in any final peace agreement.
Tafakji said in a press statement on Thursday that these expansion plans is the most dangerous because Israel is trying through this massive settlement cluster of Gush Atsion to expand the expense of Palestinians.
He was commenting on news of the planned building of additional housing units in the Jewish settlement of Bitar Illit to the south of Jerusalem.
He explained that the expansion of this colony which lies to the south west of occupied Jerusalem on the lands of Hosan, Doha and Bethlehem will involve building 8,000 housing units for an additional 30 thousand settlers.
These units will be build on lands confiscated in 1990 by the occupation on the pretext of being government land, the area of which is estimated at 4000 Dunums (400 Hectares).
He added that the expansion scheme includes 14 colonies in the area, Bitar Illit being the largest followed by Afrat on the opposite side.
He pointed out that the scheme is much bigger than what was announced and that this scheme along with the announcement of 450 new housing units in Pissgat Zeif as well as a technology park, are all part of a grand scheme which targets the area from the Latroun to the eastern border of the occupied city of Jerusalem.