Israeli officials have reportedly scrapped plans to build hundreds more illegal settler units on the occupied Palestinian territory, which would amount to a clear violation of the recent UN Security Council resolution demanding a halt to the regime’s land grab policy.
Hanan Rubin, with the Jerusalem (al-Quds) Local Planning and Building Committee, said on Wednesday that the bid to approve construction permits for nearly 500 homes in East al-Quds had been shelved upon the request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Rubin said the decision came as US Secretary of State John Kerry is to offer a purported “comprehensive vision” for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during a speech in Washington later in the day, according to Press TV.
Following the vote on Friday by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) calling for a halt to further Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the Jerusalem Planning Committee has approved hundreds of new settlement homes in East Jerusalem.
The Israeli government began approving new settlements over the weekend that were previously deemed ‘diplomatically sensitive’ by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office prior to the election of Donald Trump. Despite a noticeable slowdown in the construction of settlements over the last few years of the Obama presidency, Israel seems to be banking on further support for their settlement projects from incoming President Donald Trump.
The United Nations Security Council was scheduled to vote the evening of December 20 on a resolution demanding Israel halt its settlement expansion policies in all Palestinian territories it occupies. However, according to a UN diplomatic source the vote has been postponed and the new date “is yet unkown.”
The resolution, drafted by Egypt, demands “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement expansion activities in occupied Palestinian territory, including al-Quds.”
It states such activity is “dangerously imperilling” a two-state solution, and calls for the UN to take “affirmative steps” to reverse this conduct “on the ground.”
The United Kingdom is deeply concerned over reports of Jerusalem receiving plans for some 500 new “illegal” housing units in a settlement in East Jerusalem, UK Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said Monday.
Last week, media reports emerged claiming that Jerusalem’s municipality had proposed construction of 500 housing units in Ramat Shlomo, an area annexed by Israel.
“We are deeply concerned by reports that the Jerusalem Municipality has revived a plan for constructing 500 new units in the illegal settlement of Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem,” Ellwood said in a statement.
Jerusalem is not just a site of ‘conflict’, as the INOGS conference programme says. It is a site in which questions of ‘genocide’, the deliberate destruction of communities, are all too live.
The International Network of Genocide Scholars (INOGS) is holding a conference in Jerusalem this weekend. The initiative has attracted an attack by Israel Charny in the Jerusalem Post under the lurid heading, ‘Genocide scholars who minimize the Holocaust – and some who are coming to town’. This summarised his article published in the pseudo-academic Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, reporting a flawed survey of his friends and acquaintances interested in genocide about their attitudes to the Journal of Genocide Research (JGR), the premier journal in the field which is sponsored by INOGS.