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Photo by: Miri Tzachi
Ministry: No building planned in Givat Hamatos
By MELANIE LIDMAN
09/15/2010
Rumors race through media that a 1,300-unit construction project in east Jerusalem neighborhood, would be discussed, and possibly approved, at an October meeting.
 
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.

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“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 Jerusalem.

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.
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