Settlers Move in another House in Jaebl Mukaber

December 3, 2012

3/12/12
A group of settlers’ guards, entered this morning at 2.00 am, into a 5 floors building in Jabel Mukaber. The building was built several years ago by a Palestinian, and was probably sold to the settlers.

Two years ago, settlers moved in another house, at the same street, which is being guarded by guards and cameras 24 hours a day.

For me, this new settlement, at the heart of a Palestinian neighborhood is not only a dangerous provocation which is threatening the stability in the fragile situation of Jerusalem, but also a threat to the possibility to get to a two states solution and a compromise in Jerusalem.  It is no accident that the settlers choose to move in now, just after the Government announced 3000 units in settlements. It seems as if the Government has set the norm, and showed that it wishes to establish as many settlements as possible, to prevent the two states solution.

JabelMukaber031212b

JabelMukaber031212The new house, now settlement, in Jabel Mukaber

jabel mukaber2 - small


Settlers move in another apartment in A-Tur

November 5, 2012

After years of  legal struggle, the last Palestinian family living in the A-Tur settlement  building, evicted today their apartment and settlers moved in. The building, called by the settlers “Beit Hachoshen”, is located on top of Mt. of Olives, not far from the 7 Arches Hotel, in the Palestinian neighborhood of A-Tur in East Jerusalem. In 2006, settlers moved into the house and established the settlement in A-Tur on Mt. of Olives, while one of the Palestinian families continued to live in their apartment at the first floor of the building.

The court recently ruled that the apartment belongs to the settlers, who bought it from the Palestinian owner, and today the police ordered the family to move out. The settler moved in, only few minutes after the Palestinian family left.

The settlers, connected to the Elad association, are now controlling the whole building in addition to another apartment in the the house next to it.

The “Beit Hachoshen” settlement in A-Tur. Settlers moved into the first floor


180 new units in East Jeruslam

October 29, 2012

The Israeli Land Administration announced last week the allocation of 180 new housing units in East Jerusalem for families of people from the Israeli security forces (the army and police). The decision was made in accordance with the Israeli Government’s decision from 20.5.12 to allocate units for security people in Jerusalem in “places with special characteristics that can justify such allocations, according to the ILA considerations”.

Since almost no Palestinians serve in the Israeli security forces, this decision is clearly intended to prevent from Palestinian families the possibility to buy homes in the new neighborhood, which is located between two Palestinian neighborhoods, Sur Baher and Um Lison.

The plan, number 7977A, is on lands that were confiscated by the Israeli Government back in 1970 as part of the confiscations for the East Talpiyot (AKA Armon Hanatziv) neighborhood. On July 2012, the plan was officially announced valid after the final approval by the regional planning committee.

I think it is a shame that in a city where over 1/3 of the population are Palestinians, the authorities are planning only for Israelis, even near Palestinian areas in East Jerusalem, where such construction is desperately needed. This policy is not only taking us away from the possibility to get to Two States, but is also discriminatory and adds to the instability in Jerusalem.


Plan for a Military College on Mount of Olives Now Deposited

October 20, 2012

20/10/2012

In the last few days, ads were hung up in Mt. of Olives in East Jerusalem announcing the depositing of plan no. 51870 for the construction of the Israeli Military College. The public is granted 60 days to file any objections or reservations to the plan, after which the Regional Planning Committee can discuss the objections and approve the plan. The planned college would serve as the academy for training senior commanders in the Israeli Military and the Security Forces.

The idea to build the college should not be of any problem, but the location, at one of the most sensitive and disputed areas in Jerusalem,  is a little more than provocative. The plan is to build the Military Academy at the Palestinian neighborhood of A-Suwane, near the Beit Orot Settlement, at the hilltop of Mt. of Olives. The plans call for an 8 story structure, 5 stories of which will be built into the ridge, with 41,480 sq. m. of built up space.

See more at t-j.org.il.

The planed academy – an imaging from the plan documents

I believe that one can’t think of Mount of Olives as real estate. It is important for the three monotheistic religions: the 3,000 years old Jewish cemetery, is on Mt. of Olives, where the resurrection of the dead should begin when the Messiah comes; A thin bridge will connect the Haram A-Sharif and the Mt. of Olives at the end of the days, according to the Islam; and for the Christians, the Mt. of Olives is a site that connected with the life and the death of Christ, where he spent his last days before the crucifixion, and where he ascended.

On top of all this holiness, Mt. of Olives is under dispute between us and the Palestinians, and we will have to solve this dispute only through an agreement. Bringing the Military Academy to this spot is quite insensitive and if I may add, not so smart, of our Government.


Final Approval for 800 units in Gilo

October 18, 2012

As Israel enters into a period of elections, the plan to build 800 units at the Western Slopes of Gilo (plan no. 13157)  is published for validation. Today (18/10/2012), an ad was published in Maariv newspaper declaring the plan’s validation. This publication is the last phase of the planning process. Two weeks from the publication of the ad in the newspapers, the plan is valid and contractors may apply for a construction permit from the Municipality. In the case of Gilo’s Western Slopes plan, which was initiated by the Israel Land Administration, the contractors should win the bid in order to buy the rights to build, through a tender. Such a tender may be published in a few months.

 

There were two plans called Gilo’s Slopes:

  • The Southern Slopes of Gilo – Plan no. 13261 – for the construction of 850 units with potential addition of another 300 units. This plan was deposited for public review on May 10th, 2012, and is awaiting discussion of the objections by the district planning committee.
  • The Western Slopes of Gilo – Plan no. 13157 – for the construction of 800 units. This plan was deposited for public review already on April 2011 and was approved for validation on 24/6/2012. Today, 18/10/2012, it was published for validation.

The Municipality Spreads Demolition Alerts in Silwan

September 10, 2012

The Municipality of Jerusalem distributed today demolition alerts to Palestinians in Wadi Hilweh, threatening to issue administrative demolition orders unless alleged illegal construction stops. A municipality inspector handed the alerts to several families accompanied by the police.

The Municipality, together with the National Parks Authority, put a lot of pressure on the Palestinian residents of Silwan by issuing many demolition orders (which usually leads to long legal procedures and hi fines) and by implementing some of the orders.

I’m sure that the Municipality is also taking care of the massive construction done at settlers houses in Wadi Hilweh, not far from the spring (although past experience shows that settlers’ illegal construction is hardly touched), or they probably issued a special permit to do such works.

construction done these days at a settlers’ house at the heart of Silwan


Settlers are to Occupy a Room in a Palestinian Home in Ras El-Amud

September 1, 2012

For the settlers of Ras El-Amud in East Jerusalem, even 15 sq.m. room in an inhabited Palestinian apartment is enough in order to create facts on the ground. According to the court’s ruling, starting from tomorrow, September 2, the settlers are allowed to occupy one room at the Hamdallah family house in East Jerusalem. One who doesn’t know the story of the settlement in East Jerusalem may ask why would the settlers insist on entering such a small room in a Palestinian house and spend thousands of Shekels in many years of legal struggle. However, in East Jerusalem, this is how it works: This way, the life of the Hamdallah’s will become even more miserable, and with time, so hope the settlers, they will give up and leave the house. As soon as they leave, the settlers may replace the house with 20 new housing units.

The Hamdallah house and the settlement in Ras El-Amud

The Hamdallah house is a strategic spot for the settlers, it is adjacent to Ma’ale Zeitim A, a settlement of 50 units, that was completed in 2003, and Ma’ale Zeitim B of another 60 units that was completed last year. The third phase of the settlement, Ma’ale Zeitim C, of another 20 units, is planned to replace the Palestinian home. As long as the Hamdallah family stays at home, this plan cannot be implemented.

Tomorrow, The war of attrition against the Hamdallah’s, is about to enter another very hard period for the family. Starting from tomorrow, there are going to be settlers in their house, coming in and out, bringing guards, maybe arranging events or provocations, and the family will need to digest and try to live normal life.

Implementing the “Right of Return” for Jews
The settlers base their claim on the fact the land was owned by Jews before 1948, and now should return to the original Jewish owners. The Palestinian family managed to convince the judge that they have full rights in the house due to the long time that passed since the settlers got the ownership and the date when they first started the eviction procedures in court. However, few years ago, the settlers claimed that one room of the house was built after the limitation time and therefore, should pass to their hands. Two weeks ago the court ruled that the 15 sq.m room and a few meters of the backyard, belongs to the settlers and starting of tomorrow, they are allowed to move in.

To me, it is another example of how the occupation affects our moral judgment and even threatens the very legitimacy of our basic claims. Israel has been rightfully claiming that the solution for the Palestinian refugees issue will not be solved by implementation of the full right of return to the properties they lost in the 1948 war, because this would undermine the right of the Jews for self determination. However, the settlers, with their messianic fight to take over Palestinian properties, are ready to use the “right of return” argument for Jewish properties that were lost during the 1948 war, while prevent such a right from the Palestinians.


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