Jerusalem municipality approves 184 new homes in areas over Green Line

Local planning committee approved requests by private contractors who purchased land years ago, says municipality spokeswoman.

By
March 19, 2014 14:03
2 minute read.
Har Homa neighborhood of Jerusalem

Har Homa neighborhood of Jerusalem 370. (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The Jerusalem Local Planning Committee approved permits on Wednesday for 184 homes beyond the Green Line, 144 to be built in Har Homa and 40 in Pisgat Ze’ev.

In a statement issued by the municipality shortly after the approval, it categorically dismissed assertions that the move was meant as a provocation during already uneasy US-brokered peace negotiations, and noted that the land had been privately owned for years.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“These building permits were presented for approval at a meeting of the local planning and building committee by private entrepreneurs who bought the land several years ago upon completing the design phase [of the homes],” the statement read. “We strongly reject any attempt to stop the legitimate right of every resident to get a building permit in Jerusalem. New construction in Jerusalem is essential to the development of the city in all sectors, and for allowing young people and students to live here and afford to buy an apartment.”

The municipality added that it is legally forbidden to base any land ownership decisions based on any criteria other than “proprietary rights.”

“Each week, the Jerusalem Municipality grants building permits throughout the city for Jews and Arabs alike – regardless of religion, race or sex,” it stated. “It should be noted that the municipality has no legal right to intervene on the proprietary rights of residents who own land anywhere in the city, and checking the religion of a land is illegal in any civilized country.”

The government has long said that Pisgat Ze’ev and Har Homa will not be exchanged in any deal with the PLO.

Construction of the homes is expected to begin in the next few months, the municipality said.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher at Ir Amim, an NGO dedicated to the establishment of an egalitarian Jerusalem, condemned the decision as a roadblock to peace.

“The big significance of these approvals is its blockage of a Palestinian state’s continuity,” Tatarsky said. “What we’re seeing is a consistent policy by the Israeli government and [Jerusalem] municipality to build beyond the Green Line in specific areas that create facts on the ground as far as continuity between the West Bank and Jerusalem is concerned.”

Moreover, Tatarsky said the approval is evidence that Israel does not truly support a two-state solution.

“If the Israeli government is not interested in a peace agreement, then this move makes perfect sense,” he said. “What we are seeing is how the peace process is allowing the opposite of its goal and purpose. As far as anyone who supports the two-state solution is concerned, this is a very negative development.”

The announcement came 48 hours after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas presented US President Barack Obama with a document claiming Israel had begun construction on 10,509 housing units in the West Bank since negotiations began in July.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN