The Regional Planning and Construction Committee of the Jerusalem City Council approved, Tuesday, a plan to expand the French Hill colony by illegally confiscating large areas of Palestinian lands belonging to al-‘Isawiyya and Shu’fat towns, in occupied Jerusalem.Palestinian Researcher, specialized in Settlements’ Affairs, Ahmad Sob Laban, said the Regional Committee has approved the illegal annexation of 25 Dunams (6.17 Acres) of lands, belonging to Shu’fat residents, north of Jerusalem.

Israel is planning the construction of a commercial zone on lands that were slated only for residential purposes under the Regional Plan of the Jerusalem City Council for the year 2020.

Sob Laban added that the decision falls under a new structural plan, approved by the Regional Committee, to expand the French Hill colony, and to set aside lands that would be used for the construction of additional units.

The Palestinian researcher also said that the residents in Shu’fat have repeatedly applied for construction permits on the lands in question, but Israel kept delaying the applications, and alleged that the construction plan for 2020 “has not been approved yet.”

The lands are in the Sahl neighborhood in Silwan, one of many Palestinian areas severely impacted by Israel’s illegal colonies.

Son Laban also stated that, under the new structural plan of the French Hill settlement, the Palestinians in the al-‘Isawiyya town would lose nearly 30 Dunams (7.41 Acres) near the main entrance of the town.