Israeli Authorities Approve 400 Settlement Units near Bethlehem

An illegal Jewish settlement in the Occupied West Bank. (Photo: Oren Ziv, via

The Jerusalem municipality approved on Tuesday the building of 400 settlement units in the illegal Jewish settlement of Gilo, north of Bethlehem, in the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported.

The project will include a 30-floor tower, 800 square meters of commercial space, 6,000 sq m for public buildings, and 80 individual apartments. It will be implemented on an 11,000 sq m surface.

The Gilo settlement was established in 1973 on a hill overlooking the Palestinian town of Beit Jala, part of the Bethlehem conglomeration, which lost much of its lands to the settlement.

According to Khalil Tafakji, Palestinian researcher and head of the maps unit at Jerusalem’s Orient House, “in 1967 Israel expanded Jerusalem’s boundaries over the lands of 28 Palestinian towns and villages, including Beit Jala.”

The New Arab reports Tafakji as saying that “Israel’s aim is to annex as much as possible of Palestinian empty land to its Jerusalem boundaries”.

Tafakji also pointed out that “the current extension of Israel’s Jerusalem takes up to 1.5% of the surface of the West Bank. But the ‘Greater Jerusalem’ plan will take up to 10% of the West Bank’s surface, reaching to the slopes of the Jordan Valley”.

Earlier in January, Israel approved the building of 3,700 settlements between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, part of which are to be located above and across the Green Line, Israel’s 1948 boundaries, effectively erasing them.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
Our Vision For Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out