Ramallah: Israel intends to annex large swathes of land from Palestinian towns surrounding occupied East Jerusalem, including Abu Dis, Al Ezariyah, Al Sawahrah, Al Zaim and Al Eisawiyah, the National Office for the Defence of Land and Resistance to Settlements (colonies) has said.
The office, which is affiliated with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), said that the move is part of a systematic colonial campaign against the holy city.
The Israeli regmine has been continuously settling huge numbers of colonists in the eastern part of occupied Jerusalem.
Palestinians say the moves amount to a demographic war against Palestinians in the holy city as Israel struggles to assert its claim that Jerusalem is its “undivided capital of the Jewish people”.
Despite Israeli attempts to kick Palestinians out of their lands and out of their homes, Palstinians still make up 40 per cent of the population in occupied Jerusalem.
The move comes amid continuous Jewish raids on Al Haram Al Sharif. Israel annexed the entire eastern part of Jerusalem during the 1967 Mideast war, but left the Jordanian Waqr Department to administer and run the Muslim holy sites in a historic status quo agreement which governs access to the holy shrine.
Ongoing incursions by Jews on Al Haram Al Sharif premises have been the largest instigator of violence since last year. Palestinians say the Israeli regime is encouraging its citizens to violate the status quo agreement in an effort to change the facts on the ground and erase all Palestinian and Muslim identity from occupied Jerusalem.
Al Haram Al Sharif is built on top of the ancient remnants of the Temple Mount, a site sacred in Judaism, but was destroyed in the 4th century by the Romans, during their rule.
Al Haram Al Sharif site houses both Al Aqsa Mosque, which was originally commissioned to be built under Omar, the second Caliph in Islam in the 7th century, and the Dome of the Rockm which houses the rock from which Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) ascended to heaven, according to Islamic teachings.
Meanwhile, the Land of Israel lobby is proposing a law to the Israeli Knesset to expand Israeli sovereignty in the occupied West Bank.
It wants Israel to annex the colony of Ma’ali Adomim and incorporate it into occupied Jerusalem.