1500 settlement units given the go ahead in Shoufat, North Jerusalem
December 18, 2012

A special committee dedicated to continuing the building of settlements said on 18/12/12 that they are planning on going ahead with an extension to the settlement Ramat Shlomo in North Jerusalem after one week of committee meetings.

According to Field Researcher Ahmad Sabb Laban the settlement expansion is part of the 'punishing steps' being taken by Israel after the UN welcomed Palestine as a member. Laban explained that the committee discussed the objections of the people of Shoufat and Jerusalem, such as that it will take more of the land of Shoufat and Bet Hanina. Laban confirmed that the project will hold over 10,000 settlers and will mean the confiscation of 580 acres from Shoufat. He also revealed that most of the objections at the special committee were by existing settlers at Ramat Shlomo who are worried that the trees which currently surround the settlement will be cut down in the new project.
The committee haven't agreed on whether or not it will affect the wooded area, but minimised the numbers of new housing units from 1680 to 1500.
The settlement extension at Ramat Sholomo was first discussed in March 2010 when American deputy President Joe Biden visited Israel. The announcement created tensions between the US and Israel and bought the issue of settlements onto the political table.