JERUSALEM, February 16, 2016 (WAFA) – The Israeli municipality of West Jerusalem Tuesday issued eviction orders to Palestinians living near the town of Ezariya, east of Jerusalem, to establish a national park to serve illegal Israeli settlers, said witnesses.
Witnesses told WAFA Israeli troops broke into Jabal al-Baba, a Bedouin area and ordered dozens of local Palestinians 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.
Israeli troops have repeatedly broken into the area and demolished residential structures and animal barns, mainly built with rudimentary objects, belonging to local Bedouins, under the pretext of construction without a permit.
Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including in East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law.
A 2013 United Nations report said the Israeli government persists in building settlements in occupied territories claimed by Palestinians for a future state, including east Jerusalem and the West Bank, “despite all the pertinent United Nations resolutions declaring that the existence of the settlements is illegal and calling for their cessation,” the report said.
The settlements are "a mesh of construction and infrastructure leading to a creeping annexation that prevents the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian State and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination," the report concludes.
More than 500,000 Israelis already live in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Palestinians‘ hoped-for capital. Israel annexed east Jerusalem, with its Palestinian population, immediately after capturing the territory from Jordan in 1967 and has built housing developments for Jews there, but the annexation has not been internationally recognized.