Israel plans to build a settlement neighborhood near Qalanida checkpoint
Thursday March 01, 2007 02:07
by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
The 'Arabs48' news website published an article based on a report by an Israeli newspaper on Wednesday morning, stating that the Israeli Government is preparing a plan to construct a new settlement neighborhood that includes 11,000 settlement housing units, near Qalanida checkpoint north of Jerusalem.
The plan includes digging a tunnel under Kufur Aqib Arab neighborhood in order to link the new settlement neighborhood with the Eastern Settlement Bloc which remained on the other side of the Annexation Wall.
The Arabs48 said that if this plan is carried out, it will be the largest settlement construction plan in that area since Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967.
Meanwhile, Israeli sources reported that the plan was welcomed by the Jerusalem Municipality, but is not yet officially approved.
The Municipality said that it will examine the plan when it is officially submitted to it. The Israeli Housing Ministry said that it had no information regarding this project.
The Annexation Wall section in Qalandia, separating the Palestinian neighborhoods in north Jerusalem from the neighborhoods in Ramallah is expected to be finalized soon. This area is one of the most densely populated areas in the West Bank.
The new settlement neighborhood is planned to be linked with Kokhav Jacob settlement, east of Jerusalem. The planned tunnel is intended to shorten the distance between the Beit El settlement Bloc and Jerusalem.