The Jerusalem Municipality's District Planning and Construction Committee on Wednesday approved a plan for the construction of 130 housing units in the neighborhood of Gilo, which is regarded by the international community as a settlement.
The move comes about a week after the government decided to market lands for the construction of hundreds of housing units beyond the Green Line.
The plan must next be approved by the Interior Ministry and Regional Planning Committee. Jerusalem Council Member Yosef (Pepe) Alalu of Meretz confirmed the details.
About two weeks ago, the Construction and Housing Ministry and Israel Land Administration announced that hundreds of housing units would be marketed beyond the Green Line.
According to the announcement, 348 of the units will be built in the haredi town of Beitar illit, 500 in Har Homa in south Jerusalem and 180 in Givat Ze'ev in the northern part of the capital.
The announcement was followed by a strong condemnation on the part of UN Security Council powers. Britain, France, Germany and Portugal – EU representatives on the council – said in a statement that they were "dismayed by these wholly negative developments."
They said Israel's move to accelerate the construction of settlements in the West Bank "sends a devastating message. We call on the Israeli government to reverse these steps.
The Foreign Ministry issued a harsh response
to the condemnation, saying that "if instead of contributing to stability in the Middle East, European countries are investing their efforts in inappropriate bickering with the one country in which the independent law justice system knows how to deal with lawbreakers, then they are losing their credibility and making themselves irrelevant."