Will a new Jewish neighborhood be built outside the Green Line for the first time since Har Homa? In the wake of its deteriorating international status and the Palestinian independence bid at the UN, Benjamin Netanyahu's
government is expected to push forward plans to build 4,000 housing units in the area of Givat Hamatos in southern Jerusalem, Ynet has learned.
According to the itinerary of the Jerusalem District Housing and Planning Committee, which operates under the Interior Ministry, on December 8th committee members will discuss objections to the establishment of parts B and C of the neighborhood, which is slated to include about 1,400 housing units.
Part A of the plan includes the construction of 2,610 housing units was put up for objections before the Sukkot holiday.
Construction in east Jerusalem (Photo: AP)
According to Peace Now, if the building of 1,400 housing units gets the green light in December, the bulldozers will begin work in less than two years.
Part C of the plan was already discussed in 2008, while a hearing into objections was held in February 2010. It was then decided that another discussion would be held, which is now planned to take place in December.
Part B of the plan was submitted in March 2010 and is now brought before discussion on objections.
"The fact that they waited with the plans for 18 months is no coincidence," Peace Now said. "The Israeli government clearly intends to promote this plan at this time."
The movement further claimed that half of the lands where the new neighborhood is slated to be built are owned by Palestinians and could have been used to expand the neighborhood of Beit Tzafafa. "The plan is another slap in the face for Abbas and a present for Hamas," Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer said.
According to Oppenheimer, "The prime minister continues with his path to crush any prospects of an agreement and expands the borders of Jerusalem towards Bethlehem. Approval of the plan days after the implementation of the Shalit deal would further weaken the moderate forces in the region and play into the hands of Hamas."