Israeli Hebrew-language daily newspaper Israel Hayom reported on Tuesday that the authorities have given the green light for 4,416 units to be built in Jerualem al-Quds, adding that 23,576 square meters of land would be expropriated for business projects and 4,253 for other purposes.
The report further noted that 464 settler units will be constructed in Gilo settlement, 180 units in Kiryat HaYovel, and 375 others in Kiryat Menahem settlement.
Earlier this month, Ir Amim, an Israeli NGO opposing Israel's settlement expansion activities, published a new map, describing an “accelerated, intensifying chain of new facts on the ground in the most historically contested and politically sensitive part of Jerusalem [al-Quds]: the Old City and adjacent ring of Palestinian neighborhoods.” Presstv reported.
The map pointed to a mounting number of Israeli regime-sponsored settlement campaigns inside Palestinian neighborhoods, as well as “settler-initiated evictions of Palestinians, takeovers of their homes, and the expansion of settler compounds,” in addition the use of “touristic settlement sites” as “key points along a ring of tightening Israeli control.”
Ir Amim said tourism and supposed archaeology projects “assume a central role in Israeli settlement policy.”
About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.
Less than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council in December 2016 adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.
Trump backtracked on Washington’s support for a “two-state solution” in 2017, saying he would support any solution favored by both sides.
“Looking at two-state or one-state, I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one both parties like. I can live with either one,” the US president said during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on February 15, 2017.