Faizel Patel – 16/11/2020
Saudi Arabia has expressed serious concern over the Israeli decision to build hundreds of new settlements near East Jerusalem.
The Saudi reaction comes after Israel moved ahead on Sunday with plans laid out in February to build 1,257 housing units in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Givat Hamatos.
The Israel Lands Authority opened construction tenders for contractors, in a move that has elicited criticism from the Palestinian Authority, the European Union, and the United Nations.
In a statement, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the settlements are illegal under international law and was part of Israel’s efforts “to kill the internationally-backed two-state solution.
On Monday during the Palestine Report on Radio Islam, Hafez Ebrahim Moosa from the Palestine Information Network (PIN) explained how Ir Amim, an Israeli civil society organisation that tracks settlements in Jerusalem, warned that the next two months in the lead-up to transition from President Donald Trumps administration to President elect Joe Biden’s “will be a critical period”.
Ir Amim reiterated concerns that settlement construction in Givat Hamatos would be a devastating blow to peace negotiations because it would cut east Jerusalem off from Bethlehem, disrupting the territorial continuity of a future Palestinian state.