08 March 2018

In keeping with its long-term goal of Judaising al-Quds and its Old City in particular,  the Israeli  municipality in Occupied Jerusalem has accelerated plans to establish a park at the symbolic Mount of Olives to link the two Jewish settlements in the Al-Toor neighborhood in the city.

The aforementioned park will be located on the western slopes of Mount Olives, between the settlement neighborhood of Beit Urrut, “the former Armenian patriarch’s house” located in the Sawanah neighborhood on the left side of the main road leading to Al-Toor and the new Beit Hochin settlement opposite the Al-Farsi Mosque. It is expected to be named as Ozih or Imtsa’ Park. The Israeli government’s goal behind this move is to seize private Palestinian land, where the occupation municipality and the so-called “Authority for Developing Jerusalem,” intends to expand the park thus presented it to the “District Planning committee”.

The above mentioned Committee approved another plan for the development of the city, which includes the establishment of a visitors’ center in the Jewish cemetery in the Mount of Olives, near the Ma’aleh Zaytim settlement, as part of a large plan the Elad settlement in the second part of Jabal Al-Mukaber, moreover, planning for a restaurant is underway, while the Jerusalem Development Authority is constructing a bridge of ropes that extends from the restaurant and ends at Mount Zion.

The Jerusalem Development Company supervises the Judaization of the “Cotton Cave” or the so-called “Tsadikhu” located on Sultan Suleiman St, under the Old City of Jerusalem between the Damascus and Sahira Gates through 2 tenders. The first one is NIS 12,000,000 for cave, and the second NIS 5,000,000 for the development of sound and light shows.

Furthermore, the Israeli occupation authorities also continued their attacks on Palestinian institutions in the occupied Jerusalem. The Minister of Internal Security at the occupation government issued decisions to close and extend the closure of a number of Palestinian institutions in occupied Jerusalem, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Supreme Council for Tourism, the Palestinian Center for Studies, Palestinian Detainees Center, and the Social and Statistics Studies Office.

The Israeli government also approved the legitimization of the Gilad outpost, in retaliation against the Palestinians and in response to the Nablus operation that resulted in the killing of the settler Raziel Shiva. Israeli PM Netanyahu announced the granting of permits to the settlement outpost that was established on private Palestinian land of the Jeit and Farata villages.

The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements condemned the decision of the Israeli government headed by Netanyahu to legitimize the Gilad outpost, and to allocate budgets needed to expand it and deepen settlement activity there. The Bureau called on the international community and the United Nations to act immediately and curb the Israeli policies of breaching the international law and the Geneva Conventions, adding that the colonial settlement decision is not only to legislate the outposts that have been built on the private property of the Palestinian people, but also to release the settlers and grant them an explicit permits to begin taking full control of Palestinian land in the West Bank.

In other ongoing crimes committed by the Israeli occupation forces and Israeli settlers, they demolished the Abu Al-Nawar Bedouin School east of the occupied Jerusalem. It is not the first time that they committed such a crime, and deprived children of their right to education. It is a maneuver to displace the Abu Al-Nawar area in order to expand the settlement according to a plan known as :E1.

Moreover, settlers from the Yitzhar settlement attacked a house belonging to Rizk Ziadeh in the Maamda village, south of Nablus, and the kidnapping of 2 children, Hussam, 8, and Taha, 10, and attempted to take them to the settlement. However, scores of villagers gathered and pursued the settlers in the mountains, forcing them to leave the children.

Furthermore, Knesset Member, Yehuda Glick, who usually leads incursions of settlers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, said that the Israeli police in Jerusalem and the Shin-Bet security service encouraged the settlers to invade the mosque. Glick said that Shin-Bet chief, Avi Dichter, is the first to encourage him to storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and told him to bring more settlers, and explicitly said, “We need more Jews in the Temple Mount.”Glick revealed that those who encourage him today to continue the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the commander of the Jerusalem area in the Israeli police, Yoram Helifi, who always says, “Bring more, we need more, why do you come in few numbers.”

In a provocative measure, dozens of settlers, including Knesset members and Israeli officials, participated in the funeral of Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal in the Har Bracha settlement in the northern West Bank, along with Knesset Speaker, Yuli Adelstein and Deputy Minister of Occupation Army,  Eli Ben Dahan. For his part, Agriculture Minister, Uri Ariel declared that the time of the Temple Mount has come, as it is time for the people of Israel to “recognize the sanctity of the land, the sanctity of the Temple Mount, the construction of our temple.”

In another worrying development, Ha’aretz reported that the right-wing Elad settler organisation and another group were planning to build the longest zip line in the occupied Palestinian territories – expected to stretch for 784 metres. The groups needed planning permission from the Israeli occupation authorities to start this project two months ago. The wire will be built between the Qasr Al-Hakim and Abu Tur neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem. Haaretz pointed out that there is strong opposition to the project, which would change the view of the holy city.

The newspaper also revealed that the Israeli authorities have started development work at another site, for which Elad Settler Organisation has claimed ownership, in Jabal Al-Mukabber in the Old City. A couple of months ago, Haaretz noted that the organisation was expected to expand its Judaisation projects in the occupied city.

Commenting on these projects, the Head of the Supreme Islamic Committee, Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, said, “They are part of a clear plan to Judaise the area, mainly around Al-Aqsa Mosque, in order to tighten the blockade around it.” Speaking to Quds Press, Sheikh Sabri said that all of the Israeli projects in the occupied city “are illegal” and “amount to a violation of international law because the city is under occupation.”

The veteran scholar stressed that these plans “are religious” in nature and aim to change the Arab and Islamic character of the city, taking it closer to the Jewish narrative in an attempt to reach the point that the Israeli occupation authorities feel able to demolish Al-Aqsa Mosque with impunity.

SOURCE (with editing): Palestine News Network