The Israeli occupation is rushing to increase the Jewish Presence in the Holy City by strengthening settlements and increasing the number of Israeli settlers, altering its features and Arab-Islamic identity, and giving it a purely Jewish character that has nothing to do with reality.
Netanyahu’s far-right government is resolutely pushing forward with an aggressive settlement construction agenda near Jerusalem, disregarding international objections. These intentions extend beyond addressing the demographic discord in the occupied city and instead seek to prevent any potential for a future Palestinian state.
The occupation strategies involve not only expanding settlements within the city but also establishing settlement neighbourhoods on its outskirts. This tactic aims to isolate the Old City from its Palestinian surroundings, paving the way for a comprehensive encirclement of the city through expansive settlement zones across significant portions of Palestinian territories.
In the course of this year, over 22 settlement plans have gained approval from the occupation authorities. These plans prioritize settlement expansion in Jerusalem, all the while encroaching upon the lands of Jerusalemites and depriving them of their rightful residence in their own city.
According to scholar Al-Maqdisi, the occupation is using this tactic to deliberately seize more Palestinian territory, sway demography in favor of settlers, and ultimately take control of the Jerusalem dispute.
He adds once more that carrying out the proposal will actually contribute to the annexation of areas to the east of Jerusalem. In order to restrain natural population growth and assert control over public places in the holy city, it also entails restricting the areas designated for Palestinian development, notably for young couples.
Al-Maqdisi emphasizes that the plan is intended to create connections between the areas it encompasses and the “Mishor Adumim” industrial zone, which is located next to the “Ma’ale Adumim” colony to the east of Jerusalem. This is accomplished while keeping Palestinians’ access to certain areas restricted.
This settlement project is a component of the larger “Greater Jerusalem” initiative, which encompasses more than 10% of the West Bank’s area. Its primary goal is to divide the northern and southern parts of the West Bank, effectively preventing the future development of a Palestinian state.