GAZA CITY: Israeli plans to build 1,257 settlement units south of occupied Jerusalem have been condemned by Palestinian experts, who say the move will “kill the two-state solution.” The settlement plans come on the eve of a tour of the region by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is expected to visit an Israeli settlement built on Palestinian land in Ramallah. The new announcement is in line with Israel’s large settlement project, a plan it has tried to implement for three decades. It aims to link the settlement of Givat Hamatos, which is built on Palestinian land in the towns of Beit Safafa and Beit Jala — part of which is owned by the Lutheran Church in Jerusalem — with other settlements in the West Bank. Khalil Tafakji, a map and settlement expert, said the new plans are dangerous because they form a “link in the chain” of settlements in the Jerusalem 2020 Project, through which Israel aims to completely isolate Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings. “Israel aims to establish what can be called a ‘Jewish Bethlehem’ by linking the settlement of Gilo and Jabal Abu Ghneim, and establishing about nine hotels to seal the entire closure of Jerusalem from the southern side and ...read more...
SectorOil & Gas