A project to construct hundreds of new illegal Israeli settlement units in the heart of the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Hanina, in occupied East Jerusalem, was reported to commence early next month.
According to a Hebrew-language news outlet, Aryeh Orange, a candidate from the right-wing Me’uchadim (United) political faction running for the Jerusalem city council, announced, according to Ma’an, that the new housing units “are being sold to Jews only.”
Sources reported that about 124 illegal Israeli housing units have already been approved for the project, out of a total of 324 units.
The housing units are allegedly to be sold to ultra-orthodox Jews at reduced prices. A luxury five-room apartment of 124 square meters, with an open-sky balcony will cost only 1million shekels ($276,000).
A correspondent of the news outlet confirmed that, during a closed political conference for Me’uchadim, Orange repeatedly said “It’s a finger in the eye of the Arabs,” referring to the new housing units to be built in a Palestinian neighborhood.
A source confirmed to the news outlet that, within a month, the tractors will arrive at the location, which has been named Nof Shmuel. The land was reportedly purchased almost 15 years ago, with Jewish funding, aiming to create “a contiguous Jewish settlement between the neighborhoods.”
Since the occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967, between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis have moved into Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, in violation of international law.
The estimated 196 government recognized Israeli settlements scattered across the Palestinian territory are all considered illegal under international law.