A plan to build 1,100 housing units in Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood was approved Tuesday by the city's regional planning and construction committee.
The plan includes construction of small housing units, a boardwalk, public buildings, a school and an industrial zone.
- Palestinians stepping up anti-Israel boycott
- Op-ed: What about equality?
- Report: Gilo construction project awaits approval
Soon different bodies would be permitted to object to parts of the plan, after which the project will receive validation and a green light to begin constructions.
"It's a nice gift for Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year)," said Yair Gabay, a member of the Jerusalem committee.
"Jerusalem in expanding to the south, creating affordable housing. We must clarify to the world that Jerusalem is not up for sale."
About a year and a half ago the planning and construction committee approved a motion to expand Gilo and south Jerusalem and build new housing units in the neighborhood.
The construction project has drawn heavy criticism from Washington and left-wing organizations.
Gilo was built on land that was seized during the Six Day War and later annexed to Jerusalem. The neighborhood was a frequent target of Palestinians during the second intifada.
The Palestinian Authority condemned the decision: "The prime minister of Israel claims that he has no preconditions, but this decision creates preconditions on the ground," a statement by the Palestinian Prime Minister's Office said.
"Netanyahu said there is no room for unilateral steps – there is no bigger unilateral step than ordering construction on Palestinian land. He told the UN he was there to tell the truth, but this decision tells the truth for him."
Elior Levy contributed to this report
- Follow Ynetnews
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop