The Israeli Ministry of Housing is working on re-planning the construction of a new settlement on the abandoned Qalandia airport to expand the settlement of Atarot, north of Jerusalem, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported on its website, on Thursday.
The Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reported that the settlement includes 11,000 housing units extending about 600 dunams from the abandoned airport and the air-conditioning factory to the Qalandia checkpoint. The land was seized in the early 1970s by the Labor government at the time. The new neighborhood of East Settlements.
The plan includes land at the airport “Qalandia”, which was closed by the occupation authorities with the outbreak of the second intifada in 2000, after being targeted by the Palestinian resistance.
The newspaper pointed out that the settlement plan was drawn up several years ago, and has been frozen on more than one occasion due to international political pressure against the settlement in the territories occupied in 1967, especially the opposition expressed by the US administration headed by Barack Obama at the time, which opposed the settlement expansion in Jerusalem.
The newspaper pointed out that the former Housing Minister, Yoav Galant, issued orders to resume work on the settlement project, after the election of the US President Trump.
According to the website, the Israeli Ministry of Housing is working on “land-use planning” to be used for the construction of the settlement neighborhood, with the plan to allocate land use to areas planned in the next few months to the Planning and Construction Committee of the Jerusalem area.
The newspaper pointed out that the settlement plan enjoys great support from the mayor of the occupation in Jerusalem, Moshe Leon, and the head of the opposition bloc in the municipality, in addition to the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs in the Israeli government Ze’ev Elkin.
According to estimates by Israeli political officials, according to “Israel Hume”, the Trump administration will not oppose the settlement construction plan north of occupied Jerusalem, as long as no permit for immediate construction in the region.
On November 18, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared his country deemed Israeli settlements illegal and contrary to international law. Prior to that, on December 6, 2017, recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would encourage the occupation to pay dozens of settlement plans in the West Bank. Occupied West Jerusalem including Jerusalem.
With the announcement of Pompeo, 176 settlements will be inhabited by approximately 670,000 settlers, according to the Wall and Settlement Authority, which received American legitimacy and became part of Israel.
Photo credit: PNN
Edited for IMEMC: Ali Salam