JERUSALEM, February 17, 2016 (WAFA) – The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem Wednesday demolished a number of agricultural and industrial structures in al-Issawiya, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, to establish a national park to serve illegal Israeli settlers, according to a local source.
Ahmad Sub-Laban, who monitors settlement activities in Jerusalem, told WAFA that Israeli bulldozers broke into al-Issawiya neighborhood district, north of Jerusalem, and demolished a number of Palestinian-owned agricultural and industrial facilities, in preparation to establish a national park that will serve illegal Israeli settlers.
Sub-Laban added that as a result of the Israeli demolitions, some 740 dunums of Palestinian land will be confiscated by Israel, aiming to secure territorial contiguity between the city of Jerusalem and the illegal settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, located about five kilometers to the east of the city.
This came only one day after the Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem ordered dozens of local Palestinians in Jabal al-Baba, a Bedouin area near the town of al-Ezariya, east of Jerusalem, to leave their homes in preparation to establish a national park.
The municipality informed locals that the proposed national “Jewish” park, which will see hundreds of dunums of Palestinian land confiscated, is part of the Israeli E1 plan, which arguably aims to isolate the city of Jerusalem from its Palestinian surrounding.
According to the Israeli anti-settlement group, Peace Now, “Over the years, Israel has used a number of legal and bureaucratic procedures in order to appropriate West Bank lands, with the primary objective of establishing settlements and providing land reserves for them.”
“Using primarily these five methods: seizure for military purposes; declaration of state lands; seizure of absentee property; confiscation for public needs; and initial registration, Israel has managed to take over about 50% of the lands in the West Bank, barring the local Palestinian public from using them.”
According to OCHA weekly report covering the period between 1 and 7 of September 2015, “In the southern West Bank, dozens of demolition and stop work orders were issued in Area C, including against 18 residential structures and a donor-funded school serving 40 students in three communities in the Massafer Yatta area (Hebron), which has been designated by the Israeli authorities since the 1980’s as a closed military zone for training, also referred to as the “918 firing zone”.
OCHA said, “Around 1000 people currently living in this area are at risk of forcible transfer.”