Gilo Expansion and more yet to come
Encouraged by weak International posture toward the Peace process

Gilo Expansion and more yet to come <br> Encouraged by weak International posture toward the Peace process
Really, it was no surprise when the Israeli planning committee approved Plan 13261, Mordot Gilo at Gilo settlement southwest side of Bethlehem area. The targeted land designated for the new 1100 housing unit construction belongs to Palestinian residents from Beit Jala and was illegally annexed by Israel to the unilaterally declared Jerusalem boundary after the 1967 occupation. The approved plan 13261 comes as part of a more comprehensive construction package that includes Plan 13157 Mordot Gilo West – at Gilo settlement northwest side, which includes an additional 900 housing units and was approved earlier in July of this year. The extent of expansion designated for Gilo settlement remains ambiguous as it may involve some 1000 units more. 

Both plans intended to massively expand the settlement of Gilo at its west side and horizontally toward the adjacent planned Giva’t Ya’el settlement west of Gilo. In due course, the planned Gilo construction and the Giva’t Ya’el settlement plan comes in harmony with the Israeli plan to complete a belt of settlements that will geographically separate the Israeli declared Jerusalem boundary from Bethlehem at its south and southwest side and will link it with the Gush Etzion settlements’ Bloc located west of Bethlehem as part of the Israeli “Greater” Jerusalem area plan.
Accordingly, the Israeli plans declared in Gilo settlement, Har Gilo settlement (1084 housing complex), the Giva’t Ya’el plan (some 20,000 housing units), the Giva’t Hamatos plan (some 4000 housing units), and the Har Homa Plans (B, C&D –some 6000 housing units) will act as fillings within the belt of settlements intended to create geographical fact on the ground and work in a complimentary manner with Israel’s plan to make any proposal to draw the borders between the anticipated Palestinian State and Israel a difficult rather intricate task to do once the border subject come in play in the negotiation over the final status issues between the Israelis and Palestinians.
The declared Gilo plan was not a shock, or should not be one. The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is gigantic supporter when it comes to construction in settlements; particularly in Jerusalem, and he always made it clear. When Israel supposedly declared the settlement freeze a moratorium period of 10 months in West Bank settlements, Netanyahu bluntly said that this will not include construction in Jerusalem. He reportedly said that construction in Jerusalem has never been a subject of argument for any of the consecutive Israeli governments for the past 44 years.
The fact of the matter is that Israel wants to send a clear and explicit message during this delicate time to the Palestinians, the mediators of the peace process, and to the international community that they will not compromise over Jerusalem.
Ultimately, this Israeli message was implicitly encouraged by the international community; particularly the United States’ lenient and indulgent position to the countless Israeli violations of the international law and the dozens of breaches to signed Oslo Accords and peace agreement with the Palestinian but most import; Israel’s apathy to all the aforementioned and of any possible retribution that will not go beyond word of “disappointments”- “dismays”.  
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Categories: Settlement Expansion