New Israeli settlement plan could imperil US-brokered talks

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Israeli authorities are implementing their decision to build a new Jewish neighborhood on the occupied Palestinian land in Jabal Mukaber, South East of Jerusalem al-Quds.

Israel’s Housing Minister, Uri Ariel and Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat plan to attend a ceremony to lay the foundation stone of these illegal settlements.

About 160 new housing units there have already been sold to Jewish settlers. These are in addition to 1000 new units in Palestinian neighborhoods throughout Jerusalem al-Quds. This building activity comes against the backdrop of municipal elections in Israel, where, by attending the ceremony the Mayer is attempting to win the votes of the ultra-religious and right wing extreme settlers living in the area.

Palestinian Activist Salah al-Khawajeh explained that the expansion of the settlements in the South East of Jerusalem al-Qdus is part of a greater strategy to annex the illegal settlements from Bethlehem, which is inside the 1967 green line, to Jerusalem al-Quds.

This will be the first full construction of a settlement since Washington announced resumption of direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians with an initial deadline of 9 months. However, the Palestinian Authority has stated that they would not relinquish their pre-conditions of a complete freeze of settlement expansion particularly within the 1967 boundaries.

Settlements are illegal under international law and the fourth Geneva Convention although Israel considers occupied territories gained since 1967 to be exempt from this law.

Palestinian human rights groups say the laying down of foundation stone of yet another illegal settlement will put a nail in the coffin of negotiations with Israelis. They are calling for Israel to no longer have legitimacy through the talks but to be taken to the International Criminal Court for these crimes.

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Israel approves settlement expansion on Palestinian lands


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Israel has approved 69 new settlements in East Jerusalem al Quds.
The new plan seeks to expand the Har Homar Israeli settlement. However, Palestinian activist Daoud Hamoude says the move is part of a bigger plan to annex all settlements from the North of the West Bank to the E1 area in Bethlehem, ultimately turning the West Bank into a string of Palestinian ghettos.

Jamal Jumaa of the Stop the Wall also told Press TV that Tel Aviv has no interest in peace talks and will not cease settlement activities under any conditions.

The Palestinian activist also says he has serious doubts about the future of talks between the Palestinian Authority and Tel Aviv.

Har Homa is an illegal settlement south of Jerusalem al-Quds, occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War. The international community doesn’t recognize the settlement because it goes against international law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

John Kerry’s optimism concerning the so-called peace-talks is being mocked by Israel through their acceleration in settlement expansion and the largest ethnic cleansing policy in the south of Israel, both acts violating the demands to re enter negotiations.

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Israel bars Muslims from entering al-Aqsa mosque


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A large group of settlers protected by Israeli forces entered the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem Al Quds, and prevented Muslim worshippers from entering the mosque.

For two consecutive days, Israeli police have prevented Muslims, men and women under the age of 50, from entering one of the holiest Islamic sites, by erecting flying checkpoints around the compound. All elderly people had to show their ID’s to Israeli police before entering the compound.

The Minister of Jerusalem Affairs stated that Muslims now need to unify in order to protect al-Aqsa mosque.

The police evacuated all young Muslim worshippers in order to allow a group of 40 Israeli settles to tour the compound. The next day, over 100 settlers gained access to the mosque, accompanied by Israeli forces.

The Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is the third holiest site in Islam. However, it is also a site where Jewish Israeli’s believe as the Second Temple, a holy site for Jewish, stood before al Aqsa. But, despite rigorous archeological excavations by the Israeli’s, they have found no proof of the existence of this site.

“Following two days of ban on Muslim worshippers from entering the al-Aqsa compound, senior Palestinian politicians have called upon all Muslims in Jerusalem al Quds to remain in the mosque in order to protect it from Israeli settlers and soldiers. They further stated that the Israeli settlers and soldiers are trying to change the status quo by claiming it as a Jewish place of worship. Nel Burden, Press TV, Occupied Jerusalem al Quds.”