Israeli army radio reported Monday that the Regional Construction and Planning Committee in Jerusalem decided to delay bids for the construction of 1500 additional units in the Ramat Shlomo illegal settlement, in occupied East Jerusalem, for three weeks.The Radio said that the Committee quoted security considerations for its decision, and added that the units have been approved for construction in December of 2012.
The decision to construct these units was made several years ago, but Israel shelved it during the visit of U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, to the region in March of 2010, the Arabs48 news website has reported.
Senior Israeli officials told the Army Radio that the Ministry of Interior was instructed by the office of Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to delay the project due to its “politically sensitive nature”; Netanyahu’s office did not comment on the issue.
The Ramat Shlomo settlement, along with Gilo, Ramot, Pisgat Zeev and East Talpiot, are part of the settlement chain encircling occupied East Jerusalem, especially amidst the ongoing illegal Israeli settlement activities aiming at illegally annexing Palestinian lands east and north of occupied Jerusalem to complete its chain of settlement around the occupied city.
One of the most dangerous Israeli settlement plans is the so-called E1 (East 1) project, referring to the area of northeast of occupied Jerusalem to the Ma’ale Adumim settlement, the third largest settlement in the occupied West Bank.
Back in 2004, the then Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, (who was assassinated by an extremist Israeli settler identified as Yigal Amir) decided to expand the border of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement.
As part of this project, Israel built the E1 Police station, which became the headquarters for the Police in the occupied West Bank, referred to by Israel as the “Judea and Samira Police Department”.
The project is meant to complete the chain of settlement around occupied Jerusalem, and blocking the geographical contiguity of the occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem.
Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank are built in direct violation of International Law and the Fourth Geneva Convention to which Israel is a signatory.