Wed Mar 2, 2011 9:21PM
Rana Kamal, Press TV, al-Quds
"It is one of the most controversial settlements in East Jerusalem, al-Quds. Ma'aleh Zeitim lies in the middle of the Ras Al-Amod, an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Now the Jerusalem licensing committee recently gave the green light to further expand the Ma'aleh Zeitim settlement after approving the construction of 14 settlement units.
The pending plan to set up a neighborhood of 104 apartments around a police compound that would essentially create one Jewish enclave of over 200 families in Ras al-Amud.
The Ma'aleh Zeitim settlement is the largest of the Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and is home to over 100 Israeli settler families. The new approval will house 14 additional families.
Many of the Palestinian homes surrounding this settlement are now threatened with demolition in order for more settlements to be built.
We spoke to many of the residence in the area, but all refused to do an interview due to the safety of their families from the Israeli occupation. However, analysts say this latest move is yet another example of Israel's plan to further occupy what is left of East Jerusalem, al-Quds.
Ma'aleh Zeitim was set up with the help from American Jewish businessman Irving Moskowitz, a long-time supporter of Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem.
Moskowitz is also a donor of the 24 settlement units approved last December in the Mount of Olives of East Jerusalem al-Quds.
Peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis have been stalled since last September after Israel refused to extend a 10-month partial freeze on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank. Palestinians vow they will not return to peace talks as long as Israel continues building settlements in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem, al-Quds.
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