Israel planning to demolish Al-Quds Airport in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for illegal settlements: Report
The plan by Tel Aviv reportedly calls for the construction of 10,000 settler units that would widen the separation between East Jerusalem and Ramallah
By News Desk - October 06 2021

Atarot airport in the Qalandia area in northern Jerusalem. (Photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Apaimages)

Hebrew media reported on 5 October that the Israeli government is planning to build around 10,000 new settler homes in the Qalandia area of occupied East Jerusalem.

According to the report, this proposal is being championed by the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem and it calls for illegal settlements to be built at the abandoned site of Al-Quds International Airport near the Atarot industrial settlement.

Until 1967 the Al-Quds International Airport was the only airport in the West Bank. After Israel occupied the West Bank, the airport was used only for domestic flights before being closed permanently in 2000.

The airport and its land are located on an area of 1,200 dunums (one dunum equals a thousand square meters). The project to build the new settlements is expected to occupy 900 dunums of the Palestinian land.

“The demolition of Jerusalem Airport means that Israel will eradicate any chance for establishing the capital of the Palestinian state in East Jerusalem,” Khalil Tafakji, the director at the Jerusalem-based Arab Studies Society, said last December.

According to Al-Tafkaji, “the establishment of this settlement is a kind of concrete separation between Jerusalem and Ramallah, after the wall that Israel has erected in the region.”

Over the years, Israel has continuously demolished Palestinian homes, clearing the way for settlements that are illegal under international law. Nonetheless, Tel Aviv claims the Palestinian buildings were built without legal permits, which are nearly impossible to obtain.

The Israeli Prime Minister has also made it clear that his government has no plans to slow down the expansion of illegal settlements.

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