Bulldozers are visible during excavations near Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish settlement, in the eastern part of Jerusalem in September 2017. (Agency Mahmoud Ibrahema – Anadolu)
The Knesset (the Israeli parliament) approved the second and third readings of legislation that will allow the expansion of the Jewish settlement in the Silvan area in East Jerusalem, located south of the Al-Aqsa mosque, to continue.
Both readings were approved on Monday evening 63 – 41.
The law allows news units to be built in an area that has recently been called a “national park”.
The initiative is led by the settlement group Elad, which is known for promoting the confiscation of Palestinian property in East Jerusalem to make way for the construction of Jewish settlements.
Palestinians accuse the Israeli authorities of seizing Palestinian land in and around Jerusalem under the pretext of creating “national parks” before transferring it to the ownership of settlement groups.
Jerusalem remains at the center of a ten-year Middle East conflict, and the Palestinians hope that East Jerusalem, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967, will one day become the capital of a Palestinian state.
International law continues to regard East Jerusalem, along with the entire West Bank, as “occupied territories” and regards all construction of Jewish settlements there as illegal.
At the beginning of last year, US President Donald Trump condemned from all over the Arab and Muslim world when he announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.