Khalil Tafakji, an expert in maps and settlements, revealed that the Israeli Authorities revived a project which aims at establishing a settler-only road around Jerusalem, and will lead to the annexation of 1250 Dunams of Palestinian lands, in addition to demolishing dozens of Palestinian homes near Jerusalem.The affected homes are in the stretched area between Sur Baher and Al Z’eyyim south east of Jerusalem.

The statements of Tafakji came during a seminar organized by The Civic Coalition for Defending Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCDPRJ) in Dahiat Al Bareed area, north of Jerusalem. Engineer Adnan Al Husseiny, advisor to President Mahmoud Abbas on Jerusalem affairs, also attended the seminar in addition to several officials and representatives of Palestinian institutions in the city.

Tafakji stated that the Israeli plan, known as the “Eastern Belt” number 4584 aims at establishing a settler-only road which will link Maali Admim settlement with Jerusalem, and will extend through Palestinian lands which will be annexed by Israel for this purpose.

The road will be linked with other settler roads in East Jerusalem, Hebron and Bethlehem. It will also include tunnels, bridges and junctions.

He also stated that the road will lead to demolishing Palestinian homes, and that so far six homes were   demolished, in addition to causing significant agricultural loses especially since hundreds of olive trees will be uprooted.

Tafakji said that the planned tunnels will have three measurements in length; 958 meters, 2256 meters, and 200 meters, and that the bridge will be 400 meters long and 115 meters in height and that this bridge will be over Wad Al Nar area, close to Al Ezrariyya town east of Jerusalem.

This project is part of several Israeli projects related to the Greater Jerusalem plan which aims at surrounding Jerusalem with Israeli settlements and settler roads by isolating the Palestinian areas from Jerusalem and isolating the Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem and its surrounding towns from the rest of the West Bank.


Translated by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC