Israel to build more illegal settlements
Sat Dec 3, 2011 3:24AM
Ibrahim Husseini, Press TV, al-Quds
For Palestinian Christians, Israel's intention to build the settlement of Givat Hamatos does not only mean the destruction and confiscation of their land, but also changing and even destroying a landscape of historic and religious value.
The land that has been designated for the settlement of Givat Hamatos belongs to the ancient town of Beit Jala, just west of Bethlehem, and when it comes to settlements in this particular area south of Jerusalem Al-Quds, it seems that beit Jala's residents are getting the brunt of it.
George al alam and his ancestors have been living and farming this land for generations, but that's about to change; very soon.
This area here, called Crimsan, is now threatened to be cut off from the rest of Beit of Jala by the Israeli separation barrier.
For five consecutive Fridays, Palestinian Christians have been holding the afternoon mass here on this land in crimsan beit jala in protest to an Israeli plan to confiscate a nearby area to make way for the separation barrier and to expand Israeli settlements.
A local Priest warns; Israel's measures are going to have dire consequences on an already fast disappearing Palestinian Christian community.
Beit Jala has a population of about 17000; over two thirds of them are Palestinian Christians while Palestinian Muslims account for the rest.
Despite fierce opposition by the Palestinians and condemnation from the EU and the UN Israel remains adamant on settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Palestinian Authority has pulled away from talks with Israel more than a year ago over the latter's refusal to halt settlement construction.