Israeli Parliament approves legislation allowing further expansion of illegal Jewish-only settlement in the occupied city's Silwan neighbourhood.

General view shows houses in Shvut Rachel, a West Bank illegal Jewish settlement located close to the  illegal Jewish settlement of Shilo, near Ramallah, October 6, 2016.
General view shows houses in Shvut Rachel, a West Bank illegal Jewish settlement located close to the illegal Jewish settlement of Shilo, near Ramallah, October 6, 2016. (Reuters Archive)

The Knesset – Israel's Parliament – has approved the second and third readings of legislation that will allow the further expansion of an illegal Jewish-only settlement in occupied East Jerusalem's Silwan neighbourhood, located south of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound.  

Both readings were approved late Monday by a vote of 63 to 41.  

The law allows new settlement units to be erected inside an area recently designated as a "national park."

The initiative is being spearheaded by pro-settler group Elad, which is known for promoting the confiscation of Palestinian property in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for the construction of illegal Jewish settlements.  

Seizure of Palestinian lands

Palestinians accuse the Israeli authorities of seizing Palestinian land in and around Jerusalem on the pretext of establishing "national parks" before transferring it to the ownership of settler groups.  

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the decades-long Mideast conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967, might one day serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.  

International law continues to view occupied East Jerusalem, along with the entire West Bank, as "occupied territories" and considers all Jewish settlement construction there as illegal.  

Trump's Jerusalem move

Early last month, US President Donald Trump drew condemnation from across the Arab and Muslim world when he announced his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

During the protests against Trump's decision, dozens of Palestinian civilians, including children and women, were killed by the Israeli forces.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies