Palestinian sources say Israel is working on a new settlement plan that is equal to the grab of nearly 140-thousand acres of Arab land near Jerusalem (al-Quds).
The new project focuses on the areas located around al-Quds by expanding the Maale Adumim settlement and connecting other settlements around the city.
Based on the same plan, Israeli authorities have envisaged altering the current Arab-Jew proportion of the population in the city. By 2020, they are expecting the Jewish settlers to form 88 percent of the whole population.
Despite the widespread international condemnations and an apparent US opposition against Tel Aviv’s settlement activities, the Israeli government has also authorized construction of hundreds of new housing units in the occupied territories of the West Bank.
The international community considers Israeli settlements in all of the West Bank including East Jerusalem to be illegal and a major obstacle on the way to permanent peace in the Middle East.
The Palestinian Authority has ruled out any peace talks with Tel Aviv, until the Israeli side proves its commitment to a complete halt to settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Some 500,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, while 2,500 more housing units are currently under construction.