World Bulletin / News Desk
The Israeli government on Wednesday approved the seizure of five dunams of Palestinian land in northeastern Jerusalem (one dunam equals 1,000 square meters) in order to widen a road leading to a Jewish-only settlement.
The land grab aims to widen Jerusalem's Road 437 linking the Jewish Adam settlement with Jerusalem City, according to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth.
According to the newspaper, the land in question is located in Hizma town in northeastern Jerusalem, in which there is only one Palestinian structure.
The Israeli authorities announced a decision early last month to confiscate 4,000 dunams of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank in a move strongly criticized by Israel's leftist "Peace Now" movement.
Since its establishment, Israel has continued to misappropriate Palestinian land in the West Bank – on which it continues to build numerous Jewish-only settlements – in breach of international law.
The roots of the current conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous "Balfour Declaration," called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."
Jewish immigration rose considerably under the British administration of Palestine, which was consolidated by a League of Nations "mandate" in 1922.
In 1948, with the end of the mandate, a new state – Israel – was declared inside historical Palestine.
As a result, some 700,000 Palestinians fled their homes, or were forcibly expelled, while hundreds of Palestinian villages and towns were razed to the ground by Jewish forces.
The Palestinian diaspora has since become one of the largest in the world. Palestinian refugees are currently spread across Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and other countries, while many have settled in refugee camps in the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Strip.
On May 15 of each year, Palestinians still commemorate the mass expulsion in 1948, which they refer to as the "nakba" or "catastrophe."
Palestinians demand the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, with East Jerusalem – currently occupied by Israel – as its capital.
For many Palestinians, the right to return to their homes in historical Palestine – a right enshrined in U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 – remains a key demand.Last Mod: 01 Ekim 2014, 18:02