Israel's Jerusalem Master Plan 2020 - by Stephen Lendman
A November 10 Qatar News Agency article headlined, "Israel Plans to Rebuild Old Jerusalem - Palestinian Official," saying:
Attorney Ahmed Al-Ruwaidi, "responsible for the Jerusalem unit in the Palestinian Authority (PA), said Israel plan(s) to build new settlement homes in old Jerusalem where the ancient walls of the city will be overshadowed by modern bridges, synagogues and gardens spreading from the Arab neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah to Wdi Al Joze and Suwaneh."
The scheme involves home demolitions, dispossessions, and new settlement construction to solidify "the capital and spiritual center of Israel and the Jewish people (by creating) a world city which attracts the souls of millions of believers across the globe."
Projects completed so far are part of the plan, to completely transform Jerusalem's Old City, Al-Ruwaidi adding:
"All the settlement projects in Jerusalem during the past three years, some of which have been practically implemented, fall under the (plan's) framework, including a decision to erect a thousand new settlement units in Jebel Abu Ghunaim aimed at completing the isolation of the city with a wall of settlements."
"Israel announced previously it will build 50,000 new units in the city. The implementation of 20,000 of (them) has been initiated practically under projects that have been approved from time to time for political objectives linked to political and international action."
So far, 20,000 Palestinian housing units face demolition, to accommodate new settlements, Old City excavation projects, and other Jews only development. As a result, Palestinians will be dispossessed and excluded.
East Jerusalem Home Demolitions
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) tracks them as they happen, its East Jerusalem data showing that:
"Since 1967, around 2,000 homes have been demolished," 670 from 2000 - 2008 with about 20,000 outstanding demolition orders.
Currently, Palestinians comprise about one-third of the city's population, confined to 7% of its land "in mostly inadequate housing." Prior Israeli master plans aimed at maintaining a 70 - 30% split favoring Jews, a policy to widen going forward.
Already, discriminatory measures exist, including encircling densely populated Palestinian neighborhoods by "green space" or "unzoned land" where building is prohibited. Applications to rezone, increase density, or build in small areas designated for residential construction are denied. As a result, new housing can't accommodate Palestinian population increases.
Moreover, their public services are restricted, including for education, healthcare, and vital infrastructure needs for roads, sewage and water connections. East Jerusalem Palestinians contribute around 40% of city taxes, yet get 8% of Municipal spending in return.
Since 1967, Jewish settlements have proliferated in East Jerusalem, to expand its Jewish character, and one day Judaize the entire city as Israel's exclusive capital. "Settlements built on the (city's) outskirts....also dissect the continuity between the northern and southern West Bank, jeopardizing the feasibility of a future Palestinian State."
East Jerusalem Palestinians hold city IDs, revokable for anyone residing outside its boundaries or assuming another citizenship, even temporarily. As second class residents, their rights keep eroding, including to their own homes.