Israel continues to complete the colonial scheme “Greater Jerusalem” project
Bethlehem – Israel continues to complete its colonial scheme aimed at implementing the so-called project “Greater Jerusalem”, where Israeli bulldozers began destroying a land in Al-Khader village, south of Bethlehem, in preparation for establishing 300 housing units, Netanyahu announced.
Israel had confiscated lands of “Umm Hamdeen” of Al-Khader town for military purposes in 2000, and established a camp and huge watchtowers. Colonizers of “Eftrat” colony took advantage of that and built mobile homes “caravans” on the land, but Palestinians’ resort to the Israeli Court resulted in a judicial decision whereby the “caravans” where removed. However, the colonizers returned after one year to establish 30 mobile homes while they were protected by the Israeli Occupation Army, and with the outbreak of the Intifada Palestinian farmers could not obtain a new evacuation order and thus the mobile homes remained until this day.
According to media sources, the land area where work has begun, which is about 5 thousand dunums, belongs to Moussa’s family from Al-Khader town and to farmers from Artas, a nearby village.
Practically; Israel’s seizure of “Umm Hamdeen” lands and the attempt to seize its adjacent lands mean to besiege/block Al-Khader town and the neighboring villages and prevent the future natural extension for these areas. Strategically; this means that Israel continues to implement the colonial zone around Bethlehem to connect “Kfar Etzion” and “Efrat” colonies with colonies southwestern and southeastern of Jerusalem to complete the colonial circle between “Ma’ale Adumim” to the East and “Jello” to the West, and this is what Netanyahu had promised and what has maintained by the successive Israeli governments.
Above all, Israel consider colonies such as “Kfar Etzion”, in the southern West Bank, “Ma’ale Adummim”, in the middle, and “Ariel”, in the north, as part of Israel and rejects inserting them in the framework of negotiations with the Palestinians, and adheres them to stay under the Israeli control. This means eliminating the possibility of establishing a viable Palestinian State on the Occupied Palestinian Territory in 1967.
The consequences of this colonial project will hit the Palestinian agriculture, confiscating more lands and preventing farmers from accessing their fields which will affect the agricultural production, especially grape crops that is famous in this area and is considered a main source of income for dozens of Palestinian families.