Wednesday June 27, 2012 07:56 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
The Construction and Planning Committee in Jerusalem approved Tuesday the construction of 180 units for Jewish settlers in the Armon HaNetziv settlement in East Tel Peut. Israel will construct five huge residential buildings, in addition to a sixth building for public use, and three buildings for the Engineering Department of Armon HaNetziv.
Ahmad Sob-Laban, member of the Field Researchers Union in Jerusalem stated that Palestinian residents filed several appeals against the new settlement plan due to the fact that the new structures will be built on privately-owned Palestinian lands, but the plan was approved.
Sob Laban added that the appeals stated that in 1967, and after Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Israeli government confiscated nearly 2,000 dunams for settlement construction in the Sur Baher and Em Leson neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
He said that the Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem, especially in Sur Baher and Um Leson, cannot expand their residential areas due to severe Israeli restrictions. Israel continues to construct and expand Jewish-only settlements by stealing Palestinian lands on which to build.
Sob-Laban also said that the Israel refused to allow the Arab residents of the area to build new housing for young couples, and instead approved 180 new units in Armon HaNetziv. The settlement itself was illegally built on Palestinian lands in 1973, and is now home to nearly 12,000 settlers.
The new settlement plan parallels current constructions taking place in Armon HaNetziv; Israel previously approved the construction of 440 units at the expense of Palestinians in Sur Baher.
The plan was approved by the so-called Regional Committee in 2005; bids were issued in 2008 and the constructions are proceeding.