Ethnic cleansing of Palestine accelerates even more

by Yaniv Reich on November 17, 2009

Yesterday it was revealed that the Israel interior ministry has commissioned blueprints for annexing and developing an additional 1200 hectares in East Jerusalem and the nearby settlement of Maale Adumim.

Today, still more news of massive new settlement construction:

Despite US pressure to cease building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem neighborhoods, the capital’s Construction and Planning Committee on Tuesday afternoon approved the building of an additional 850 housing units in Gilo.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai signed the approval for the expansion of the southeast Jerusalem neighborhood.

Note the extraordinary bad faith of Jerusalem Mayor’s statement:

“The Jerusalem Municipality will continue to enable construction in every part of the city for Jews and Arabs alike.”

Mayor Barkat, can you please clarify the number of building permits you have approved for Palestinians this year? He knows very well that a number very near zero permits have been issued for Arab families to build, even after they have been evicted, their houses have been demolished, and they have been forced to relocate to make way for Jewish religious fundamentalists.

The level of official Israeli complicity in the ethnic cleansing of Palestine is staggering and the subject of great denial among Israelis.

Update: The Prime Minister’s Office clarifies that this form of ethnic cleansing is not new, but rather has been government policy for decades:

The Prime Minister’s Office rejected criticism from the US and Britain over its plans to building 900 more housing units in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood.

“The Gilo neighborhood is an integral part of Jerusalem just like Ramot Eshkol, Rehavia, the French Hill, and Pisgat Ze’ev. This issue has broad national consensus.” PMO sources said, “The building in Gilo has been occurring continuously for dozens of years and there is nothing new about the planning and building proceedings.”

…. which is, of course, precisely the problem.

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