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Israeli authorities approve construction plan in illegal settlement in Jerusalem

Occupied Jerusalem (QNN)- Israeli occupation authorities on Wednesday approved a plan to build housing units in an illegal settlement on the Palestinian area of Khirbet Tabalya, South-east of the occupied Jerusalem.

Israeli media reported on Wednesday that Israel’s Jerusalem municipality’s local planning committee approved the plan to build “public buildings and roads” in the illegal settlement of “Givat Hamatos,” giving the green light to the first Israeli settlement in 30 years to be built in occupied Jerusalem – and the first ever beyond the 1967 line.

Givat Hamatos, and its 1,257 housing units, is one of a handful of land expropriations and building plans for Jews currently moving forward in occupied Jerusalem.

The illegal settlement is very close to where around 25,000 Palestinians currently live in the villages of Beit Safafa and Sharafat.

In 2014, the committee approved the plan to build about 2,600 housing units, but the plan was put on hold for years due to international pressures and the tender for the approved plan was not published.

The plan will include ten complexes and 38 public housing units and commercial construction.

Last year, the so-called Israel Land Authority published the tender booklet for the construction of 1,257 housing units in the Givat Hamatos after the tender was postponed for a long time.

According to the tender booklet, the bids could have been submitted up to a few days after Joe Biden was sworn in as President of the United States.

European Union Foreign Minister Joseph Burrell condemned the publication of the tender, saying he was “very concerned about the move, which is likely to hurt the chances of establishing a Palestinian state with territorial continuity.”

The settlement lies on lands across the 1967 Green Line, seized from the Palestinian towns of Beit Safafa in the Jerusalem, and Beit Jala in the Bethlehem.

The construction plan would cut off Beit Safafa from the surrounding Palestinian villages and from the rest of Jerusalem. It would also link together the nearby Israeli settlements of Jabal Abu Ghneim, or “Har Homa,” with “Gilo”, and the proposed “Giv’at Yael” settlement on lands belonging to the Palestinian town of Walajeh.

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