RAMALLAH, Mar. 31 (JMCC) - A large group of Jewish settlers entered an area near the Palestinian town of Bir Zeit
on Wednesday in an attempt to establish a new settlement
, according to Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronot.
Some 60 members belonging to a right-wing settler movement called Youth for the Land of Israel entered the area to protest the establishment of a new Palestinian city nearby.
The settlers planned to occupy a set of empty houses that had been built
by the Palestinian Authority
in 1999, but subsequently taken over by
the Israeli military after the start of the second intifada
A spokesman for the group said that the establishment of Rawabi
, as the new Palestinian city is to be called, will weaken Jewish control over the area and the 'sequence' of Israeli settlements being built.
Rawabi is the first 'planned' Palestinian city currently being built in the Ramallah region
of the West Bank. The project has been aimed at young Palestinian professionals is intended to house 40,000 people when it is completed. The developers are currently waiting on consent from the Israeli authorities to build a road connecting the city to Ramallah. Read
more at Ynet.com