The Zionist enemy plans to build another 1,500 settlement units in the Arab eastern sector of Jerusalem almost immediately after it began freeing 21 prisoners to the West Bank and another five to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.
“The prime minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) and the interior minister (Gideon Saar) agreed on four building plans in Jerusalem,” a senior Zionist source told Agence France Presse, confirming details initially reported on military radio.
The announcement was timed to trump headlines focusing on the celebrations in the West Bank and Gaza after the 21 prisoners walked free into their respective home territories shortly after 1:00 am local time.
In the West Bank, thousands of people turned out to welcome home the 21 prisoners at a formal ceremony at Mahmoud Abbas’s presidential compound in Ramallah.
The prisoners had left Ofer prison in two minibuses with blacked-out windows and were driven to Beitunia crossing where fireworks split the night sky as they tasted freedom for the first time in 20 years or more.
The entity’s move to ramp up settlement in tandem with the prisoner release was mooted last week by a senior Zionist official who said the expected announcement on new construction had been coordinated in advance with the Palestinians and the Americans.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon.
“In recent months we have been facing sensitive diplomatic circumstances and weighty strategic considerations which require us to take difficult and painful steps,” he said on Tuesday in remarks communicated by his office.