"This plan was discussed over two years ago at the district committee, and was temporarily suspended until its deficiencies have been fixed in accordance to the committee's demands," an Interior Ministry official said.
Only two days ago, the Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Committee approved a private contractor's bid to build 130 housing units beyond the Green Line, between the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Gilo and Beit Safafa. The plan was previously removed from the committee's agenda because of political pressure, but was eventually accepted.
'We'll build in our capital'Last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the issue of Jerusalem construction, which has been the subject of an uproar in the international community.
"The subject is entirely in the open," he said. "Up until recently we've been blamed for building in Jerusalem. We admit guilt. It's our capital. No one is spreading out to new areas."
Continued construction in Jerusalem is a central issue in Israel's negotiations with the US over a document of mutual assurances on the subject of renewing the West Bank construction moratorium. One of Netanyahu's demands is a written commitment from the US that the next building freeze will be the last.
Sources close to the negotiations said the two nations have reached an impasse on the deal.
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