Nof Zion … Another Israeli Obstacle to Peace

Nof Zion … Another Israeli Obstacle to Peace

Nof Zion is one of the 34 Illegal Israeli settlements which had been built in the city of Jerusalem. It sets on an area of 44 dunums, located in the eastern part of the city near the Illegal Israeli Settlement of East Talpiot (est. in 1973 ad populated by 13,309 Israeli settlers).


According to the advertising for the new construction; the plan will include 395 luxury apartments in addition to public buildings , synagogue , kindergarten, shopping center and sports club; furthermore a deluxe hotel with public areas including cafes , restaurants, shops and everything for a tourist pleasant stay. The first stage of construction of Nof Zion settlement had started in the year 2004 and was completed earlier this year, in which 91 apartments (housing units) out of the 480 housing units are built and marketed to the public.


in an interview with Haaretz Israeli newspaper, Mr. Yehuda Levi, the head of Tel Avivâ��s Di Gal Investments and Holdings Ltd, which is the company implementing the project, had declared that his company had finished the first stage of building in the project which includes 91 apartments, which price ranges from $400,000 – $580,000, and have been purchased in about equal numbers by Israelis and Diaspora Jews, in particular Americans. Mr. Levi had also added that there are three more stages to implement and the company now awaits final approval for the second and third stages from the government.


It is worth mentioning that the 44 dunums of lands on which Nof Zion stands now are owned by number of the Palestinian Jerusalemite families of Jabal Al Mukabir neighborhood in East Jerusalem, where the Israeli occupation had confiscated their lands under the auspices of �public services� after the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory and Illegally annexed the city of Jerusalem in 1967.


In the year 2005 the Palestinian owners of these lands had submitted an appeal to the Israeli High Courte of Justice in order to prevent the Illegal building of Nof Zion settlement but the court had rejected their petition and the building in the settlement is in progress since then. See Map 1


Map 1: Location of Nof Zion Neighborhood – Jerusalem



Photo 1: An Overview of No Zion Neighborhood


Nothing More Than a Provocation

The goal of the Illegal Israeli building in Jerusalem is to strengthen Israel�s hold over the city by breaking up the Palestinian contiguity in Jerusalem and also in the West Bank, and in the case of Nof Zion; the settlement will interrupt the natural community relation between Jabal Al Mukabir and the rest of Jerusalem district�s communities; as the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem is carrying out a project to create separate traffic lines, one of which designated for the settlers.


Furthermore, the timing of the Israeli building in the Israeli settlements in Jerusalem and in the Occupied Territory and particularly after Annapolice Conference, which was held in the United States in November 2007, reflects the Israeli provoking behavior toward the peace process, and the Israeli tenders issued by the Israeli authorities  to build more than 33,000 (all of them after Annapolice) new housing units in the Israeli Illegal Israeli settlements in the city of Jerusalem is an explicit evident of interest to reach a durable settlement with the Palestinians on a just and acceptable bases.


The  existence of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem and their expansions are Illegal and contradicts with the international law rules and  United Nations Security Council Resolutions such as 446 (1979),  452 (1979) :

  • Resolution 446 March 22, 1979 calls on Israel to rescind its previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem and, in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories'

  • Resolution 452 of the 1979 â��calls upon the Government and people of Israel to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction and planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.â��

  • Furthermore the Forth Geneva Convention also states in Article 49 that â��The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies.â�� and Article 174 of the same convention â��prohibits the 'extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.â��

  • In May 2001, the head of the International Red Cross delegation to Israel and the Occupied Territories said that the Israeli settlements are 'equal in principle to war crimes'. (Note: 'The transfer, the installation of population of the occupying power into the occupied territories is considered as an illegal move and qualified as a 'grave breach.' It's a grave breach, formally speaking, but grave breaches are equal in principle to war crimes', Rene Kosirnik, head of the ICRC delegation to Israel and the OPT, press conference 17 May 2001.


Prepared by 
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Settlement Expansion