Rainbow in Jerusalem's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ammar Awad)
The Jerusalem Municipality’s Local Planning and Construction Committee approved
the building of 58 housing units in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of east
Jerusalem Wednesday in a majority vote.
The Palestinian Authority
promptly condemned the decision as a “violation of international law” and
“obstacle on the road to reach peace” in a statement and called on the
municipality to reverse its decision.
However, the municipality defended
its move to approve the measure, noting that the committee’s decision was a
“standard bureaucratic process.”
“A private developer received approval
from the Jerusalem Municipality’s local planning committee,” it stated. “The
approval is a standard and bureaucratic process that every new property
development must go through.”
The municipality added that the approval is
necessary to accommodate all sectors of the capital as it continues to
“New construction in Jerusalem, like in cities across the world,
is a normal process needed to sustain the city’s growth and to allow young
people and students to rent and purchase homes,” the statement
On August 11, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat voiced his support
for a government plan to construct 793 new homes in east Jerusalem, including
400 in Gilo, 210 in Har Homa and 183 in Pisgat Ze’ev.
Despite the PA’s
assertion that the housing units will jeopardize peace talks, Meretz councilman
Meir Margalit, who holds the east Jerusalem portfolio, said Wednesday that he
“For me this is not so dramatic,” he said. “It will not be an
obstacle to peace negotiations.”