News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:
As published May 9th in
Haaretz following Peace Now's investigation, construction of a huge structure referred to as the “Amana House”
has recently started in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem. The structure is intended to serve as an office building
for the Amana association - a private entity operating toward establishing and expanding settlements and
responsible for many of the illegal outposts in the Territories. The structure is being built within the
Palestinian neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, and is adjacent to St. Joseph Hospital, which serves the
Palestinian population of Jerusalem and the West bank.
Construction of the settlement is supported by a wide array of governmental institutions, headed by the Israel Land Authority (ILA). The ILA, in an illegal and misleading procedure and without a tender, expropriated private Palestinian land and handed it over to Amana, a right-wing, pro-settler organization that is politically and ideologically affiliated with the right-wing government.
Peace Now: “Amana has mastered the art of illegal construction on stolen land in the West Bank and it is not surprising to see it doing the same in East Jerusalem. The government must stop doing the “dirty work” of taking over Private private land for Amana, and must halt Amana’s construction that will make it harder to get to a compromise in Jerusalem."
It is important to note that two of the leaders of Amana were recently questioned for allegedly taking kickbacks from a settlement development firm. It is also important to mention that the Amana association owns the “Al Watan” company, subject of a police investigation on extensively fraudulent practices in land transactions in the Territories.
For the full Settlement Watch report click here.