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Nazzal: Israel to approve 30,000 housing units on occupied land

March 3, 2010 12:10 P.M. (Updated: March 4, 2010 5:30 A.M.)
Ramallah - Ma'an - Israeli authorities aim to approve the construction of a 30,000 housing unit for religious Israelis in the industrial area of Atarot and Qalandiya, after excavating the site, the follow-up director of the popular committee against the wall and settlements said Tuesday.

Mohammad Nazzal said the plan was uncovered by an Israeli journalist, who detailed his findings on Israeli TV. The decision, Nazzal said, was reached between the Israeli mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, and members of Knesset, the Israeli parliament.

The new plan is a renewed attempt to "Judaize" Jerusalem and strip Palestinians of their rights in Jerusalem and the West Bank, Nazzal asserted.

Atarot, near the West Bank village of Ramallah, is an Israeli industrial site in occupied East Jerusalem. The Israeli government exercises its authority in the area, despite lacking legal sovereignty over it.

On Tuesday, Barkat delayed a plan that would demolish dozens of Palestinian homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan to make way for a park and tourist attraction.

Soon after Barkat unveiled his sweeping plan for the Silwan neighborhood, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged him to "allow more time for efforts to reach an understanding with the residents of Silwan."

"The prime minister asked me to make every effort to reach an agreement with the residents. Of course, I responded positively to his request," Barkat told reporters on Tuesday.

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