» 05/30/2013 10:25 ISRAEL - PALESTINE Israel authorizes another 1000 houses in East Jerusalem Demolitions of Palestinian property has already begun. The land was sold a few months ago. For activists this is a way to bypass a settlements freeze recently ordered by Prime Minister Netanyahu.
/ Agencies) - The Israeli government is ready to build another 1000 homes in
East Jerusalem The news was released by Danny Seidemann, director of the Jerusalem
settlement Terrestrial Jerusalem, an organization that monitors (illegal) settlements
in Palestinian territory. In recent months, the authorities have already
prepared contracts for 300 homes in the Ramot settlement north-east of
Jerusalem. In Gilo (in the south) 797 lots are for sale land for construction.
Seidmann explains that the plans were approved in 2012, while sales were made
shortly before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a freeze on
settlements in the West Bank after the recent talks with John Kerry. The Secretary of State is trying
to recover the peace process between Israel and Palestine demanding a freeze on
Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Behind the building
of new lots is Housing Minister Uri Ariel, himself a settler and a prominent member of
the pro-settlements The Jewish Home which in the last election became
part of the coalition led by the Likud. Ariel is pushing ahead with his agenda
and these days he ordered the demolition of at least two housing complexes in
Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem. To avoid protests, the Israeli government has
placed strict controls in the area, off limits to the media and the population.
According to Badran al-Salameh, owner of the houses, the Israeli government has
not given him any notice.
in law and my two grandchildren - he said - were the only ones inside the
house. When I heard that there were bulldozers I immediately went to them, but
the Israeli military stopped me."
For years Israel has been demolishing Palestinian homes with the excuse that they
lack government approval. In this way, since 1967in East Jerusalem alone, more
than 1,630 non-Jewish families were evicted from their homes.