Jerusalem Municipality approves construction in Pisgat Ze’ev

Palestinian Authority condemns decision as a “violation of international law” and “obstacle on the road to reach peace.”

October 10, 2013 03:03
1 minute read.
Rainbow in Jerusalem's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood

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 expand.

“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 continued.

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 disagreed.

“For me this is not so dramatic,” he said. “It will not be an obstacle to peace negotiations.”

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