Four extensive construction plans in Jewish neighborhoods located beyond the Green Line in Jerusalem have been removed from the agenda of the District Planning and Construction Committee following the prime minister's direct intervention, Ynet has learned.
The move is apparently aimed to prevent an embarrassment before a meeting of the Quartet on the Middle East, scheduled for April 15, a day after the committee was slated to discuss and approve the building plans.
The international community is expected to oppose the expansion of the Jewish neighborhoods and view it as a unilateral move on Israel's part.
Har Homa. PM's Office intervened (Photo: Reuters)
The postponed projects include the plan for the construction of 942 housing units in the Gilo neighborhood, which was approved by a Jerusalem Municipality committee only last week. The move caused great anger in the United States during President Shimon Peres' visit, including a State Department statement expressing "deep concern" over the new plan.
The rest of the plans will not be included in the agenda in the near future: The construction of 980 housing units housing units in the Har Homa neighborhood, 625 units in Pisgat Ze'ev and 180 in Ramot.
Committee sources confirmed the report, saying that "we have updated the agenda, but the Pisgat Ze'ev plan has been delayed until after Passover."
The sources said they received no explanations on the decision to remove the plans from the agenda, but admitted that there were external pressures.
The Interior Ministry said in response that "the committee is sovereign in determining its agenda and discusses everything on the agenda. From time to time, and under different circumstances, the agenda is edited and changed."
The Prime Minister's Office declined comment.
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