The announcement is apparently a response to the recent increase in terrorist attacks last week. "The actions right now are too little and too late and won't stop viral terrorism," Minister of Education Naftali Bennett's associates said Sunday, shortly before the Security Cabinet convened for a meeting, "This is a recycling of old decisions from a year and a half ago."
"Those who want to make sure there's a Jewish majority in Jerusalem cannot promote construction there for the Arab population only," Minister of Jerusalem Ze'ev Elkin said to Ynet. "The 600 housing units in Beit Safafa are actually in the Arab part of the future Givat Hamatos neighborhood. You can't approve construction in Givat Hamatos for the Arab population without simultaneously promoting construction for Jews in that same future neighborhood, Givat Hamatos."
"I call on the prime minister to approve in addition the construction in the Givat Hamatos neighborhood for Jews. Jerusalem needs this neighborhood and over 2,000 housing units urgently. The Givat Hamatos neighborhood is of strategic importance to the development of Jerusalem, much like the neighborhood of Har Homa was in its time. Just like in his first term as prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu made history in establishing the Har Homa neighborhood, I call on him to make history once more in this term and act immediately to promote the Givat Hamatos neighborhood."
When asked if PM Netanyahu answered his concerns regarding the construction, Minister Elkin said, "No. I suppose the answer is set in the willingness to balance and in the construction that was promoted. This is in the planning stages, true, but to my eyes it's very far from creating balance. (We) need to build in Ma'ale Adumim regardless of the issue of balance in Jerusalem, and in Jerusalem there is a shortage of thousands of housing units for the Jewish sector if we want to stop the emigration from the city and stop the erosion of the Jewish majority in the capital."