Israeli Plan to build 770 housing units in the Israeli Settlement of Gilo
On the 25th of July 2016, the Israeli District Planning and Building committee in the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem submitted a plan for the construction of 770 housing units in Mordot Gilo neighborhood in the illegal Israeli Settlement of Gilo, north of Bethlehem Governorate.
According to the Israeli news website “Wallah”, the District Planning and Building committee deposited a plan for the construction of 770 housing units between the Israeli settlement of Gilo and the Palestinian neighborhood of Cremisan in Beit Jala town in Bethlehem Governorate, where this plan is part of a plan to build 1200 housing units in the Mordat Gilo Neighborhood.
However, the new plan is a part of the Israeli Town Planning Scheme No. 13261, to build 1200 housing units on 269.4 dunums of land in Mordat Gilo neighborhood in Gilo settlement, which was approved and published on the 10th of May 2013.
The Israeli Town Planning Scheme (TPS) 13261
It is worth to mention that the program for the construction of 770 new housing units , was published on the 31st of May 2016 on the website of the Israel Interior Ministry, where the new program holds No. 101-075505, and which came under the TPS No. 13261, and showed that the 770 new housing units supposed to be built on area reach to 142.8 dunums of land, and will located at the southwestern part of Gilo settlement.
On the other hand, and northwest of Gilo settlement, and at the northern part of the area where the new housing units supposed to be constructed, the infrastructure and ground preparations are taking place for building about 700 housing units in the western Mordot Gilo neighborhood, which was approved for deposit in December 2015.
Gilo settlement in the year 2014 and 2015
This 700 housing units it’s a part of the Israeli Town Planning Scheme (TPS) No. 13157, which aims to build about 900 housing units on 228.3 dunums of land.
The Israeli Town Planning Scheme No. 13157
During a field visit carried out by the field workers in the Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem ARIJ, on December 2015, reported the Israeli infrastructure and ground preparations for the construction of 700 housing units in the western Mordat Gilo neighborhood. See the image below:
Israeli settlement of Gilo…
In the year 1970, the Israeli government confiscated 2,738 dunums from Beit Jala town, Beit Safafa, and Sharafat villages located at the northwestern side of Bethlehem Governorate. In 1971, the Israeli bulldozers started the construction of Gilo settlement, and since then Gilo has gone under an intensive urbanization process. Today, the area of Gilo settlement stands at 2947 dunums and inhabited by around 44,520 Israeli settlers.
It’s worth pointed that after the construction of the Segregation wall in 2002, the Israeli Authorities annexed the settlement to the Israeli side of the wall to be part of Jerusalem borders which nowadays considered illegally “according to the Israeli Authorities” as a neighborhood in Jerusalem city.
To Sum up:
All of the Israeli colonial and expansionist activities in the occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem constitute a grave breach to the International law rules and conventions with some of which are listed below:
Article (49) of the Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, issued on 12 August 1949 – Part III states that ' The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.'
Article XXXI of the 1995 Oslo agreement provides that: Israel is forbidden from building or planning to any project or settlements or any colonial expansion or any plan that lead to change the status of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The article provides “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations”.
Moreover United Nations Security Council, 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'.
Also the resolution 452 of the 1979 “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.
Additionally, article 49 paragraph 6 in the Fourth Geneva Convention states that” The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies.”
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem