The Interior Ministry’s Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee late on Monday night gave final approval for some 1,200 apartments in the Gilo neighborhood, which is over the 1949-1967 Green Line.

The plan includes 930 apartments for immediate construction and around 300 that could be built at a later time.

The latest housing approval was part of a wave of 5,500 housing approvals in the capital over the Green Line that the Interior Ministry’s and the Jerusalem Municipality’s planning committees discussed last week.

The Slopes of Gilo South project was discussed on Thursday, but the committee did not make a decision until Monday evening.

The largest project approved last week was the Jerusalem Local Planning and Construction Committee’s final approval on Wednesday for 2,610 apartments in Givat Hamatos’ first stage. Givat Hamatos, which will be located between Talpiot and Beit Safafa, is the first completely detached new Jewish neighborhood over the Green Line since the construction of Har Homa in 1997.

Givat Hamatos has four stages and will eventually have 4,000 apartments. Last Tuesday, the Interior Ministry approved Givat Hamatos B, approximately 700 units for Arab residents in Beit Safafa.

However, they postponed a decision on 1,000 apartments in Givat Hamatos C. City Councilor Yair Gabbay, who sits on both the local and the district planning committees, said the project was not approved because it was poorly planned, and not for any ideological reasons.

Additionally, the district committee gave final approval to 1,500 apartments in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo that set off a diplomatic crisis when they received a preliminary approval during US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit in March 2010.

Gilo Community Council director Yaffa Shitrit opposed the new Gilo project because the council is concerned about the destruction of the Gilo Forest and an increase in traffic. The community filed public opposition to the project during the approval process.

Shitrit said the council supported additional building in the area, but only after the neighborhood of 29,600 residents had sufficient infrastructure and roads to bear additional traffic created by thousands of new homes.

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