New Israeli Project Disrupting Palestinian Lives in Silwan
Last July, Israeli occupation forces launched the longest suspension bridge as part of a Judaization project sponsored by the Israeli settlement association of ‘Ateret Cohanim’ and the Israeli Authority the Nature and Antiquities.
With a budget of about 20 million shekels, the Judaization project was implemented by the Israeli Ministry of Jerusalem and Jewish Heritage. The suspension bridge connects the Al-Thawri neighborhood in the town of Silwan, passing through the lands of the Wadi Al-Rababa neighborhood at a height of 202 meters.
The Israeli occupation confiscated about 210 Palestinian-owned dunums of the lands of the people of Silwan, disrupting their traffic and making their lives difficult.
Furthermore, Israeli colonial settlers use the place under the suspension bridge to hold their evening parties which last until midnight, disrupting Palestinian people’s lives near the bridge.
This project expresses Israel’s proactive settlement policy which aimed at changing the geographical and cultural features of the occupied Jerusalem.
Israeli occupation seeks to achieve political goals by narrowing the scope of movement for Palestinians and increasing the presence of illegal settlers, according to Samir Shuqair, a resident of the Wadi al-Rababa neighborhood in the town of Silwan.
Shuqair said, “The construction of the bridge over our lands caused damage to the Palestinians of the neighborhood, due to the heavy daily presence of Israeli settlers which created a suffocating traffic crisis and prevented the Palestinian people from reaching their homes.”
After the construction of the bridge, Israeli occupation take over 210 dunams owned by Palestinian people and prohibit them to benefit from it whether for agriculture or construction, in addition to distorting the area and changing its features from agricultural lands planted with olive trees to stone lands that cannot be used.
Last July, Israeli occupation approved 5 settlement projects in various areas of occupied Jerusalem including a new plan to build 450 settlement units between the towns of Umm Lisun and Jabal Al Mukaber, a new Israeli plan to establish 670 settlement units in the town of Beit Safafa and plan to colonize 140 dunums and build 3,500 settlement units and 1,300 hotel rooms south of Jerusalem.