A Palestinian official has warned that the Israeli regime was planning to encircle the Old City in Jerusalem (al-Quds) with settlements.
Fatah legislator Hatem Abdul-Qader said on Thursday that the plan was oppressive as more than 300 Palestinian houses would be demolished.
The majority of residents in the area are Palestinians and the walled compound in the Old City includes the al-Aqsa Mosque, considered as Islam’s third holiest place.
Last month, Israel announced the construction of 1,600 new settlement units for Jews in al-Quds. Under international law, all Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land are illegal.
The al-Aqsa Mosque has been the flashpoint of many clashes between Israelis and Palestinians, who accuse Tel Aviv of plans to remove Jerusalem al-Quds’ real identity by demolishing its Islamic sites and replacing them with Jewish one.
Israel recently reopened the Hurva synagogue in East al-Quds, as part of what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Israel’s "heritage."
The move sparked clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces. It also led to demonstrations in several Muslim nations.