3357 settlement units draw the features of a tight cordon to separate south occupied Jerusalem from Bethlehem

Occupied Jerusalem (ST):  "3557 settlement units", some may see it as just a passing number within the daily news related to Palestine, but in fact it constitutes a new goal that the Israeli occupation authorities seek to implement with all its capabilities south of occupied Jerusalem and in the city center to separate it from Bethlehem in the West Bank and isolate its neighborhoods from each other amid the silence of the international community about the crimes of ethnic cleansing and forced displacement that Palestinians are subjected to and its content with timid statements confirming the illegality of settlement and calling on the occupation to stop it, away from any practical step to compel it to do so.

 

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the settlement scheme aimed at establishing 3,557 new settlement units in occupied Jerusalem, explaining that it was a dedication to the colonial annexation schemes aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause and eliminating any opportunity to establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and calling on the international community to provide protection for the Palestinian people and pressure the occupation to stop settlements.

The stages of the occupation’s implementation of the new settlement plan are divided into two stages, according to a statement by the Jerusalem affairs specialist, Fakhri Abu Diab, to news reporter. The first of them includes the establishment of 1,465 units in the town of Beit Safafa, all the way to the town of Sur Baher and Jabal Abu Ghneim, south of Jerusalem, with the aim of linking two settlements established on Palestinian lands in these areas and separating south of the city from Bethlehem.

As for the second phase, it includes the establishment of 2,092 settlement units in the French Hill area in the center of Jerusalem to cut the communication between the neighborhoods of the Old City, south, center and north of the city, and to complete the establishment of a settlement belt that completely closes south of Jerusalem.

In parallel with the intensification of settlement operations in Jerusalem, the occupation is escalating demolitions, according to Abu Diab. Last year, the Israeli entity demolished 177 Palestinian homes and facilities and displaced hundreds of Palestinians with the aim of bringing about a demographic change for the benefit of the settlers, stressing that despite all these arbitrary practices, the Palestinian people continue with their steadfastness and clinging to their land and legendary steadfastness in resisting the occupation, especially in the towns of Silwan, Al-Isawiya, Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and the holy city’s neighborhoods to thwart all plans of Judaization and displacement.

The danger of what the occupation seeks to implement lies in dividing and separating the areas, as the Director of Al-Quds International Center Hassan Khater stated that once the occupation finishes implementing its plan to establish 3,557 settlement units in Jerusalem, the Old City, central and southern Jerusalem will be divided into several parts, separating its neighborhoods and villages, outposts surrounded by apartheid walls. The occupation controls the passage of Palestinians through electronic gates, which exacerbates their suffering.

Khater pointed out that the occupation implements a policy of ethnic cleansing and racial discrimination in occupied Jerusalem, and what the Palestinians are experiencing in the city is a repetition of the tragedies of the Nakba in 1948 through settlement operations and the aggression of settler gangs on the Palestinians and the seizure and displacement of their lands and properties.

Certainly, the plans of the occupation with the settlement units do not end, which he explained by saying that the occupation plans to establish 57 thousand new settlement units during the next few years with the aim of changing the geographical and historical situation of the city of Jerusalem and obliterating its Arab identity and its Islamic and Christian landmarks, pointing out that the occupation is racing against time to impose a Judaizing settlement reality and make it impossible to establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, taking advantage of the silence and the international community's ignoring of the ongoing settlement and Judaization war.

However, no matter what crimes the occupation committed against the Palestinians, it will not be able to change the facts of history and obliterate the features of the land and its Arab-Palestinian identity. The United Nations and human rights and humanitarian organizations should assume their responsibility and move to truly stop the terrorism of the occupation.

K.Q.