Minister confirms de-facto building halt in e. J'lem

By JPOST.COM STAFF
June 13, 2013 12:45

House and Construction Minister Uri Ariel confirms Prime Minister Netanyahu has frozen building in east Jerusalem.

1 minute read.



The east Jerusalem neighborhood Silwan.

311_Silwan houses. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) confirmed to Army Radio an earlier report indicating that the Israeli government has instituted a de-facto moratorium on the building of new homes in the disputed Jewish areas of the eastern part of Jerusalem since the start of this year.

“This is very problematic,” Ariel told Army Radio. “The facts speak for themselves. This is something that needs to be taken up with the prime minister’s bureau.”

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Army Radio reported earlier this week that political figures and technocrats in a number of government agencies accuse Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his aides of stymieing efforts to populate the predominantly Arab portion of the capital city, which was captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, with Jews.

Critics of the prime minister, including officials in the Israel Land Administration, the Jerusalem municipality, and the Yesha Council, say Netanyahu is fearful of international criticism. It is this fear, they say, that is driving him to break a campaign promise to continue Jewish construction beyond the Green Line.

According to Housing Ministry statistics cited by Army Radio, the government green-lighted the sale of 200 apartments over the course of 2010 and 2011. Last year, the government authorized the sale of 1,500 apartments in eastern Jerusalem. ILA officials say officials in the prime minister’s bureau have directly intervened to prevent the marketing of available land to the public.


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