Report: Israel imposes de-facto building freeze

Housing Ministry, ILA, Yesha Council figures show gov't has not marketed new apartment in e. J'lem to public since January.

June 10, 2013 09:16
1 minute read.
THE OLD CITY walls in east Jerusalem contrast against the modern buildings in west Jerusalem

View of Jerusalem 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Despite Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s promise to continue Jewish construction in the eastern part of Jerusalem, the Israeli government has instituted a de-facto building freeze in the disputed part of the capital, Army Radio reported on Monday.

The army-run radio station cited figures provided by the Housing Ministry, the Israel Lands Administration, the Yesha Council of settlements, and the Jerusalem municipality, all of whom confirm that no new apartments beyond the 1967 Green Line have been marketed to the public since the start of the year.

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ILA officials told Army Radio that aides in the prime minister’s bureau have directly intervened to institute what amounts to a de-facto moratorium on Jewish settlement of the predominantly Arab half of Jerusalem that Israel captured in the Six-Day War.

The status of Jerusalem is considered one of the more sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Israeli government has vowed that the city will remain its undivided capital, while Palestinians say there can be no end to the conflict so long as the eastern part of the city remains under Israeli control.

Last week, Likud MK Ofir Akunis denied that the government was responsible for a construction freeze in Jerusalem.

“There is no such decision, nor was such a decision ever made, nor will such a decision to freeze construction in Jerusalem ever be made,” Akunis told the Knesset plenum last week.

Army Radio was unable to obtain a response from officials in the prime minister’s bureau.

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