Pisgat Ze'ev
Photo: AFP

32 homes approved in Pisgat Ze'ev

Jerusalem planning committee allows construction of units on land conquered in 1967, Likud faction head insists 'we will continue to build in all neighborhoods'. Meretz: What do they think, Obama doesn't know?

The Jerusalem district planning and construction committee approved the construction of 32 housing units in the eastern neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev, on land captured by Israel in 1967.


Members of the committee said Monday, just one week after a meeting between US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that contractors could begin construction immediately.


For the past two weeks the committee had postponed the decision due to political pressure caused by the meeting between the heads of state.


The 32 units are just a small part of the project, which includes 220 homes to be built near the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Hizma. The committee is set to approve another 48 units next week.


Attorney Elisha Peleg, a member of the committee and head of the Likud faction at the Jerusalem Municipality, told Ynet, "We will continue to build Jerusalem in all of its neighborhoods, without political considerations, in the planning and construction committee."


Peleg said hundreds of homes would follow the ones already approved.


Khatem Abd el-Kader, who holds the Fatah portfolio on Jerusalem, told Ynet the decision was a "new jeer at American efforts to resurrect the peace process".


Kader said the municipality was once again challenging international public opinion and that the decision "proves Israel is not committed to the peace process".


Joseph (Pepe) Alalo, who chairs the municipality's Meretz faction, also opposed the decision. "It shows the hypocrisy of the coalition here in Jerusalem. A week ago these plans were removed from the agenda because the prime minister was in Washington and now they are being approved," he said. "What do they think, Obama doesn't know?"


Alalo added that Meretz did see the largely Jewish Pisgat Ze'ev as a part of Jerusalem, but that the timing was problematic. "We are at the start of negotiations that could become serious," he said. "Moves such as this could harm the process."


Two weeks ago Ynet learned that the municipality had tried to approve the construction of the units by striking the name of the neighborhood from the committee's schedule, but was blocked by the Meretz faction and forced to postpone the vote.



פרסום ראשון: 07.12.10, 20:04
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