Thu 01 Jun 2023 8:23 am - Jerusalem Time

Israeli plans to double the settler population in Jerusalem

The new decisions of the occupation municipality in Jerusalem and the government of the extreme right reveal a set of plans and decisions that ignore the Palestinian neighborhoods and villages in occupied Jerusalem in the strategic housing plan for the year 2040, and even confiscate large areas of their lands in favor of nearby settlements and leave large areas of land in favor of green areas, claiming Public interest.

According to what was stated in a report by the Israeli human rights organization "Ir Amim", the government and the municipality of the occupation, the plan has existed since 2017, and some amendments have been added to it in favor of modernizing, modifying and developing these neighborhoods, they claim, and it was taken in recent years, which will have a far-reaching impact on Planning and building policy in Jerusalem during the next two decades at least.

These decisions include allocating planning budgets, relying on light rail lines for the purpose of increasing construction rates in settlements on both sides of this railway, and doubling settlements in settlements north and south of occupied Jerusalem.

According to the plan of the municipality and the racist right-wing government, the goal lies in doubling the number of settlers in East Jerusalem and shifting the planning center of gravity to urban renewal and densification projects in the existing settlements and linking them to each other, especially those along the southern border with Bethlehem and north with Qalandiya and Ramallah, by intensifying settlement. in the north and south to form a solid geographical and demographic divide that prevents the re-division of a united Jerusalem, as they claim.

And based on a working paper revealed by the “Ir Amim” organization, attention should be paid to “Strategic Plan 3, which was approved by the government in 2017, in which the parameters of the settlement consolidation plan and the prevention of the division of Jerusalem were laid out, and direct their actions for housing in the city until the year 2040.” Planning in the twenty years.

Among the sections and content of the plan that appeared in the form of deaf trends, statistics and maps to hide the real Israeli goal of this plan is to reduce the number of Palestinians in Jerusalem, reduce their percentage in the city and increase settlement projects in its heart and in its northern and southern settlements.

The directives of this settlement plan reveal the unbalanced planning that is based on doubling settlements, preventing Palestinian expansion, and ignoring the Palestinian forces and neighborhoods. It is almost impossible to implement this plan in the Palestinian neighborhoods of the city.

It is clear from the plan, a large part of which has completely changed from the one drawn up in 2017, that its content is political. Therefore, this policy tended towards the extreme right, which sees Jerusalemites as an existential and demographic threat that threatens the unity of Jerusalem and prevents stability in it, especially within the walls of the Old City. Where the Christian and Islamic sanctities, especially the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.

While the planning leaders and its district committees and the local committee for planning and building in the occupation municipality claim that the strategic housing plan for 2040 was designed, according to professional considerations, it turns out effortlessly that this plan deliberately and planned ignored the presence of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians residing in occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, and ignored their housing needs. For the next 20 years, it dealt with villages and neighborhoods in a backward manner that does not keep pace with the requirements of natural population expansion under the pretext of preserving the rural character of the Palestinian villages.

Rather, it narrowed the stranglehold through these plans, and did not propose any plans, even for the internal construction of these villages, and refused to organize these villages and neighborhoods, and rejected the structural maps of the neighborhoods and villages that had been prepared or under preparation, and re-discussed with the aim of imposing more restrictions and obstacles in front of its people to limit construction, expansion and exploitation What is left of the land for these villages and neighborhoods to build for bypass roads and to expand nearby settlements.

Ir Amim estimated that the next stage will witness a more serious crisis than the one in occupied East Jerusalem, as a result of the policy of the government and the occupation municipality in East Jerusalem, and said: This unfair policy and favoritism of settlement at the expense of the Palestinians in East Jerusalem has a price, and the future will prove that this price It would be expensive and challenging due to the planning distinction between West Jerusalem, the settlements in East Jerusalem, and the Palestinian citizens of East Jerusalem.

Ir Amim concluded by saying that what is happening in planning today is subject to the vision of the extreme right and the settlers who have become the decision-makers in the planning and construction committees, especially with regard to East Jerusalem.


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Israeli plans to double the settler population in Jerusalem