Rumors raced through the media Tuesday that a 1,300-unit construction project in Givat Hamatos, an east Jerusalem neighborhood, would be discussed, and possibly approved, at an October meeting of the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee.
The rumors were immediately denounced by the Interior Ministry, which oversees the district committee.
Illusions and manipulations
MKs warn Steinitz: Budget won’t pass if freeze continues
“The agenda that was sent to the members of the committee was a recommendation and was not finalized and, as far as it looks, this subject will not be brought up for discussion at any determined period,” an Interior Ministry spokesman told The Jerusalem Post.
Since the announcement of the initial approval of a 1,600-unit project
in Ramat Shlomo during US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit in March, the
Jerusalem district committee has hardly approved any building in east
Some ministers, including Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister
Yuli Edelstein (Likud), call the lack of action by the district
committee a “de facto freeze” on east Jerusalem construction, though
both the Interior Ministry and the Jerusalem municipality deny this.
An announcement of an initial approval of the Givat Hamatos project
could set off similar shockwaves during the peace negotiations that are
expected to take place every two weeks, beginning with this week’s round
in Sharm e-Sheikh.