Since the beginning of the year 2021, the Israeli occupation government has accelerated the pace in order to implement its settlement plans in the occupied city of Jerusalem, by approving the construction of dozens of tunnels, streets and apartheid roads, to serve settlement and settlers at the expense of the Palestinians, as a prelude to separating the Holy City from its surroundings, and actually annexing the West Bank.

The occupation authorities actually began implementing a number of projects that they approved during the year 2020, with the aim of imposing a new reality on the occupied Palestinian territories, separating the Jerusalem neighborhoods from each other, tearing the West Bank apart and isolating its north and center from its south, leading to preventing the establishment of a viable and connected Palestinian state.

Among these projects, the occupation authorities closed a few days ago, a tender to build a tunnel under the Qalandia checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, to connect the settlements in the vicinity of the cities of Jerusalem and Ramallah with the road leading to the occupied city of "Tal al-Rabee".

It is expected that work on this project will actually begin on the fourth of next April, according to what was announced by the Israeli "Peace Now" movement

According to the plan, the tunnel will pass under the Qalandia checkpoint to allow Israeli vehicles to travel from settlements in the Ramallah area, the Jordan Valley and the northeastern West Bank to Israel, without bottlenecks or traffic lights, and it will also turn the settlements into suburbs that attract thousands of settlers to live in.

Racist Subway

The Israeli project is part of a plan to establish a huge settlement neighborhood in the Qalandia area. As says researcher in Jerusalem affairs Fakhry Abu Diab

Abu Diab explained to "Palestine News" that the "District Planning and Building Committee" in the occupation municipality recently approved the construction of the new tunnel, and began working on logistical arrangements, despite objections to the project from the "Peace Now" movement.

According to him, the tunnel will start from the Qalandia checkpoint and will connect with the industrial zone "Atarot" until the bottom of the town of Al-Ram .

He added that this tunnel, which is 600 meters long, will pass under the Qalandia checkpoint and the town of Al-Ram, to the road leading to the E1 settlements and the Jordan Valley, and there is a section of it that will reach the "Red Plain" industrial area in East Jerusalem.

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The occupation is working to develop the "Red Plain" largely near the settlement of "Ma'ale Adumim", to become the largest industrial zone existing on Palestinian lands serving the Israelis.

In order to build this tunnel, thousands of dunams of lands from Qalandia and Al-Ram will be confiscated and seized.

The Peace Now movement stated that progress had been made in recent months in the planning process for a new road, known as Road 45 or Quarry Road, to connect the Ramallah bypass road near the settlement of Kochav Yaqoub and the Qalandia checkpoint.

In June 2020, the road plan was approved to be deposited with the "Supreme Council for Planning in the Civil Administration" of the occupation, and it was published for objection in October 2020, and the road aims to bypass Jaba and Al-Ram and allow settlers to travel quickly and safely without passing through Palestinian homes.

Actual annexation

The new tunnel aims - according to Abu Diab - to facilitate the movement of settlers and Israeli vehicles to "Tel Aviv" and commercial movement without any obstruction from Palestinian gatherings or traffic jams in Jerusalem that hinder their movement and movement.

It shows that the occupation is working to link the settlements with each other, between Jerusalem and Ramallah, through the construction of tunnels and racist streets, as a form of actual annexation on the ground.

And he affirms that "Israel" is exploiting the current circumstances in order to impose new facts on the Palestinian land, impose its security and settlement control over it, and prevent any contact with the Palestinians.

For its part, Peace Now confirmed that the Israeli Ministry of Transportation used the services of the "Moria" company - owned by the occupation municipality - to pave many roads in Jerusalem.

The company implements large-scale infrastructure projects for the Ministry of Transportation and the occupation municipality. During the past years, many roads have been built in the West Bank, including: "doubling the tunnels road, the eastern ring road, and others ".