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Jerusalem 2013

Dalia Hatuqa writes that the expansion of Israeli settlements in and around Jerusalem does not bode well for the Holy City in the coming year.
A crane lifts a concrete block for the construction of a section of the controversial Israeli barrier in Shuafat refugee camp in the West Bank near Jerusalem December 5, 2012. Israel moved forward on Wednesday with plans to build some 3,000 settler homes in one of the most sensitive areas of the occupied West Bank, the E1 corridor near Jerusalem, in defiance of international protests. Pisgat Zeev, in an area Israel annexed to Jerusalem after capturing it in the 1967 Middle East war, is seen in the back. REU

With settlements being built in a flurry in and around Jerusalem, and Palestinians still getting evicted from their homes in the flash-point neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, the holy city is off to a bleak start.

Despite several feats, such as the UN status upgrade to non-permanent observer state, 2012 was disastrous for Palestinians. By the end of December, Israel had announced a series of settlement expansion plans that reaffirmed its opposition to ceding any parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians in any future agreement.

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