Within the Greater Jerusalem Project ... a settlement storm hits Bethlehem

The Israeli occupation government continues its settlement madness, the last of which was the approval of the establishment of 4000 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank, as part of the practical implementation of the annexation plan.

The occupation targets the Bethlehem Governorate by increasing the settlement rate, changing the borders of the lands east of the governorate, and preventing citizens from entering and staying in their lands adjacent to some settlements, according to the (Freedom News) website.

Last week, the occupation authorities approved building 500 settlement units in the settlement of “Tzur Hadassah” at the expense of the lands of citizens in the village of Wadi Fukin, west of Bethlehem.

Greater Jerusalem project

Hassan Barijia, director of the Wall and Settlement Resistance Authority, confirmed that the increase in settlement activity in Bethlehem is taking place through multiple forms, including the creation of two new settlement neighborhoods in the settlement of Tzur Hadsa and the approval of 500 settlement units, in addition to military notifications aimed at modifying the borders of what is known as the property of the state east of Bethlehem in Tuqu ‘ Janata and other active settlement areas, with the aim of emptying them of the Palestinian presence.

He pointed out that the occupation aims, through its settlement expansion, to consider the Bethlehem governorate as part of the Greater Jerusalem project, and they are now dealing with this administratively and on the ground, which confirms the seriousness of the matter.

He emphasized that this is represented by fattening the settlements, and linking them with each other to form a settlement belt that separates Palestinian communities, cuts the land connections to prevent farmers from accessing their lands, and the same effects on citizens from establishing a highway linking west of Jerusalem with the settlement of Ezion.

He removed a people from their land,

and Brijia explained that the Palestinian can only defend his existence and his land by all means, legal, feasible and effective.

The Bethlehem governorate is one of the first areas in the West Bank to be subjected to a settlement attack after the Israeli occupation in 1967. There

are 23 settlements spread throughout the governorate, in addition to 14 settlement outposts, in addition to the settlements of Gilo, Har Homa and Givat Himatos established. On lands from the Bethlehem governorate, the

settlements acquired 21 square kilometers of the area of ​​the Bethlehem governorate, which amounts to 659 square kilometers, or (3).2%), with the exception of the previous declaration of the occupation of areas of influence for the settlements, which are areas that were given in order to fully expand their borders, and also increase by an area of ​​42 square kilometers of the area of ​​the governorate, i.e. 6.4%.

Statistics indicate that (165,000) settlers, or 20% of the number of settlers in the West Bank, live in settlements built on the lands of Bethlehem Governorate.

According to Israeli plans, there is expansion through the construction of (25,000) settlement units over the next decade, and there are two industrial settlements plans in the governorate, namely, “Beitar Illit” and “Maali Amos.”

It is noteworthy that the settlement increase more than 8 times what it was in the past years, and the plan of the occupation is to raise the number of settlers in the West Bank to one million settlers during the next few years.

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