Israeli Army Radio on Thursday quoted unnamed municipal officials as saying that Jewish settlers would move into housing units in occupied east Jerusalem's Abu Ghneim Mount Arab area in October.
The area, known to Israelis as Har Homa, overlooks the West Bank city of Bethlehem. The project has triggered angry reactions from Palestinians, who see the expansion plan as part of an Israeli strategy to surround occupied east Jerusalem with settlements.
The radio said that following a housing ministry decision to grant special incentives to prospective buyers in the project, Har Homa home sales showed a significant rise last month, bringing the number of purchased houses to more than 730.
Home-buying in Har Homa halted almost completely after the September outbreak of the Intifada.
The demand to freeze Israeli settlement expansion is included in the US-led Mitchell committee's report on ways to end “violence” in the Occupied Territories.
There are about 200,000 Jewish settlers living in the West Bank. According to the international law, settlements are illegal and a form of occupation which the Palestinians have been fighting to end for 34 years – Albawaba.com
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