Israel will announce a new settlement in Jerusalem on Monday, with officials expected to unveil plans to build two new residential neighborhoods and three new office buildings.
The announcements came just days after the United States announced it was moving its embassy to Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel would announce plans for two new neighborhoods in the Old City, one to house the Israeli Embassy and another to house its foreign ministry, and a third building for its police force.
Israel plans to complete construction of two residential neighborhoods in Jerusalem that will house its embassy and its foreign service and another building for the police force, and to build a third, official Israeli news agency Ma’an reported.
The plan was announced in the first week of May.
A statement from the Israeli foreign ministry said the new neighborhoods and offices would be located at the Old Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, and the western portion of the Temple Mount compound, which is also known as the Noble Sanctuary.
The plan is part of a push by Israel to consolidate its influence in Jerusalem, a major city with a population of over one million.
The country also plans to annex the Old Post Office building at the western end of the OldCity, which has become the hub of international trade in the holy city.
Israeli officials said that the plans would help ease pressure on the Old Jerusalem neighborhood and would help to “prevent the expansion of settlements in the occupied territories”.
The new development would mark the first residential and office buildings in the neighborhood, which was occupied by the Israeli military in 1967 and later renamed East Jerusalem.
An Israeli settler stands in front of a building damaged by an Israeli airstrike during clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Hebron on August 17, 2020.
As a result of the new plans, the Israeli government is seeking to annex all of the city’s land.
According to the statement, the plans for the new homes and offices will be announced in three phases.
On the first phase, Israeli officials plan to complete the construction of a new residence in the eastern part of Jerusalem, with the goal of “developing and providing housing for approximately 100 residents”.
The official said the first building would be to house foreign diplomats and a small number of Israeli citizens.
On the second phase, the prime minister is planning to build new office and residential buildings on the western side of the site.
The buildings will be dedicated to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Israeli army, the police and other public bodies.
The third phase will be a continuation of the plans to expand the area of the old city, with plans to establish a new city park.