The ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem continues
I wrote about this yesterday for Aljazeera's website, but I'm still disappointed (should I even be surprised anymore?) that is has not gained as much media attention, as, say, a certain mickey-mouse-like show in Gaza. But I guess that's because we're heartless, violent thugs who only want Israel's destruction. Israel, on the other hand, builds things on Palestinian land, for, well, its security and livlihood.
I'm referring to the plan that was approved by the Israeli government on Thursday for 20, 000 new settler housing units, enough for roughly 70, 000-90, 000 new illegal settlers, in occupied East Jerusalem, raising the number of settlers living illegally on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank to 570,000. That's 10% of the the Israeli population, folks.
To put things in perspective, these settlements will create an uninterrupted stretch of Jewish-only housing and amenities between the eastern sector of the city and two West Bank settlement blocs, in an area (the "E-1" area) that historically accounts for 30-40% of the Palestinian economy combined. This is, of course, despite continued (empty) promises by Israeli governmetns not to build or expand there.
In typical Israeli government fashion, the announcement came just one day after the World Bank issued a scathing report of Israel's West Bank closure policies, which also happened to coincide with the demolitin of a special-needs home in East Jerusalem (despite the fact that the report found most building violations took place in West Jerusalem).
Israeli Border Police forcibly evicted the caregivers and children at dawn, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). A prayer vigil was held before the center was completely demolished.
"Currently, freedom of movement and access for Palestinians within the West Bank is the exception rather than the norm contrary to the commitments undertaken in a number of Agreements..." read the report, which also said Israel had purposefully fragmented the West Bank into cantons completely disconnected from one another.
But as a legal advisor to the PA told me, the report offered nothing new as far as Palestinains were concerned: "We've been saying this for years. We just wish the world would wake up and not just listen but actually do something. We have a situation where every European state is currently violating its own laws by trading with Israeli settlements.
"If they are serious about the two-state solution its time for them to live up to their own rhetoric and do something about it."
Now, who exactly believes that a two-state solution is still viable?
For more, read the rest of my article here.