World Bulletin/News Desk
Around 200 Jewish settlers have occupied Palestinian land west of the town of Abu Dis in eastern Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Bassam Bahr, head of the Committee for Defending the Land and Resisting Settlement in Abu Dis, told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.
Israeli settlers erected tents in the Jabal area, raised Israeli flags and held dance parties, Bahr said.
The Israeli government plans to build 500 new Jewish-only housing units for settlers in the area, which was confiscated by Israeli authorities on grounds that it was "state land."
Bahr said that the stepped-up settlement activity came as part of an Israeli campaign to "Judaize" Al-Quds and surround the holy city with Israeli settlements.
"This project will lead to the displacement of thousands of Bedouin, who have lived in these areas for decades," he said, warning of the potential impact of settlement building on ongoing Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.
Last week, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called on members of the Quartet (the US, EU, UN and Russia) to pressure Israel to halt the scheduled eviction of Palestinian residents of Al-Quds and the demolition of their homes.
In late July, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority resumed peace negotiations with the self-proclaimed Jewish state under US sponsorship following a three-year hiatus.
Talks between the two sides generally take place behind closed doors. Results of negotiations are not divulged to the media.Last Mod: 25 Eylül 2013, 13:01