Monday, June 21, 2010

Israel’s Jerusalem Planning Commission grants preliminary approval for the rezoning and demolition of 22 Palestinian homes in Silwan neighborhood to create an archaeological park, a 1,000-unit Jewish residential area, and tourist zone; the rezoning measure would also retroactively approve Jewish settlers’ Beit Yonatan construction, reaffirmed as illegal by Israel’s Jerusalem District Court on 5/25 (see above). The State Dept. denounces the move as undermining proximity talks. Meanwhile, the IDF begins large-scale bulldozing of land between Pisgat Ze’ev and Neve Ya’acov settlements just n. of Jerusalem for construction of 600 new settlement housing units that will link the 2 settlements, which it intends to keep under final status. The IDF also makes a major late-night incursion into Dayr Samit village nr. Hebron, surrounding and detonating stun grenades around a Palestinian home, blowing off the door, and firing at the windows and roof before raiding the home, beating the residents, and arresting 2 men. Troops then raid and search several surrounding homes, in total arresting 25 mbrs. of the extended al-Adam/al-Hroub clan. The IDF also conducts late-night raids and searches nr. Jenin, summoning 7 Palestinians for interrogation. (NYT, WT 6/22; NYT 6/23; PCHR 6/24; OCHA 6/25)