News ID: 319147
Published: 0347 GMT January 02, 2022

Palestinian Ministry: Israel approved 12,000 settler units in Al-Quds in 2021

Palestinian Ministry: Israel approved 12,000 settler units in Al-Quds in 2021

Israel approved plans for the construction of thousands of settler units and demolished dozens of Palestinian-owned buildings in occupied Al-Quds last year, the Palestinian Authority said Sunday.

The Palestinian Ministry of Affairs said in a report that Israeli authorities green-lighted a host of plans in order to build about 12,000 units in the holy city throughout 2021, while they razed 177 Palestinian residences there. They also ordered the demolition of another 200 homes in occupied city.

Israeli forces also killed 13 Al-Quds residents, arrested more than 2,784 others, and forcibly evicted more than 490 Palestinians from their ancestral homes there, Press TV wrote.

Israel regularly flattens Palestinian homes and structures in Al-Quds on the pretext that they lack building permits, expropriating more Palestinian lands to expand its settlements.

Israeli settlement construction is illegal under international law. 

Nearly 700,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Al-Quds.

The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned Israeli settlement projects.

In May, Israel's land grab in the occupied West Bank sparked a war between its military and Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza Strip that lasted 11 days. During the war, Israel’s relentless bombardment killed over 250 Palestinians, including 66 children.

In addition to expanding its illegal settlements, Israel restricts freedom of movement for Palestinians only in and out of the occupied territories but also within it. Israeli settlers, backed by the military, also routinely storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque and provoke clashes with Palestinian worshipers.


Hamas warning

Meanwhile, Hamas condemned a new Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip as resistance groups based in the besieged Palestinian enclave and the Israeli military exchanged threats via Egyptian mediators.

Early on Sunday, Israel took Gaza under artillery fire and airstrikes in response to rocket fire from the direction of the coastal land.

Palestinian news agency Sama quoted former Israeli communications minister Ayoob Kara as saying that it was time for Tel Aviv to assassinate Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh and the movement's leader Yahya al-Sinwar.  

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement that "the targeting of some Gaza areas and its agricultural lands by the Zionist enemy is an aggression that adds to the regime's crimes against our people”.

"The resistance will continue its duty to defend the people and liberate our land and holy sites. Thus, the enemy and its settlers will experience despair and defeat," he added.

Qassem also hailed the confrontation of the resistance’s anti-aircraft systems with Israeli warplanes.

"Greetings to the proud men of the resistance who repel the enemy's attack with missiles and anti-aircraft systems, and greetings to our brave people who stand on the front line to confront the enemy,” he said.

Al-Aqsa TV reported that during the Israeli raid, Palestinian air defense forces fired two rockets, of SAM-7 type, at Israeli helicopters over Gaza’s western coast.

On Saturday, the Israeli military said two rockets were fired from Gaza toward the occupied territories. One of them exploded in the sea off the coast of Jaffa, while the second impacted off the coast of Palmachim.

According to some reports, resistance groups in Gaza blamed the rocket fire on “weather conditions” and said it was not an intentional action.

Israeli military officials, however, told Walla new website that Tel Aviv was seeking to respond in a way that would “not cause an escalation” but convey the message such incidents and rocket launches are unacceptable.

Citing unnamed sources, Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen television network said Hamas had informed Egyptian mediators that if Israel struck Gaza, it would lead to a response.




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