The Israeli occupation authorities have begun work on a plan to build a new settlement neighborhood on the lands of the historic "Qalandia Airport" north of occupied Jerusalem, despite international opposition to the project.
Qalandia Airport is located between the cities of Jerusalem and Ramallah. The occupation authorities seized it after occupying the city in 1967, and annexed it in 1981 under the “Jerusalem Law”, but closed it in 2000, and named it “Atarot Airport.”
The occupation established the Qalandia checkpoint on the land of the airport. In February 2012, the occupation turned it into an industrial zone.
The researcher in Jerusalem affairs, Fakhri Abu Diab, reported to Safa that the occupation municipality in Jerusalem has begun work on the infrastructure and construction of several streets at the Qalandia checkpoint. It has started the promotion of the settlement plan aimed at establishing a huge settlement neighborhood on an area of 1,240 dunams of airport land. It was approved by the Regional Committee for Building and Organization in 2020.
Abu Diab added that the settlement neighborhood includes the construction of 9,000 housing units for ultra-Orthodox Jews, in addition to the establishment of recreational and commercial places, an industrial zone, a huge hotel of 20 floors, several high buildings, and other facilities.
According to Abu Diab, the Israeli Ministry of Housing is supervising the settlement project in cooperation with the occupation municipality, and with the support of the Israeli far-right wing.
Moreover, he said that this project aims to separate the city of Jerusalem from the West Bank, especially the northern region, which will be closed permanently, as part of the completion of the establishment of a settlement belt in the vicinity of the city, and the construction of settlement units for settlers.
The settlement project aims to expand and change the borders of the city of Jerusalem and prevent any continuity or geographical expansion with Palestinian neighborhoods.
He explained that the occupation authorities have prevented the Palestinians from investing in the airport lands and allowed settlers to control Palestinian lands and build settlements on them.
He pointed out that part of the airport lands are owned by Palestinians, and the other part belongs to people from the State of Kuwait, but the Israeli Ministry of Housing claims that it belongs to the National Fund of Israel.Source : Safa