Drastic fall in e. J'lem building permits worries Rivlin

Likud MKs to ask Netanyahu for explanations.

August 30, 2010 02:59
2 minute read.
The Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev.

311_Pisgat Zeev view of homes. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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 Don't show it again

A Jerusalem Post report indicating a massive decrease in building in east Jerusalem since the visit of US Vice President Joe Biden in March caused consternation on the Right over the weekend.

Likud lawmakers said they would question Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Mayor Nir Barkat about the report, which found that in the five months since Biden’s visit, only a handful of small projects, with a total of 433 housing units, had passed some level of approval.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Edelstein: Palestinians should halt building as well
FM hints J’lem building was also frozen
Yesha urges PM to make call on freeze

In the three months before Biden’s visit, five large projects, with more than 3,171 housing units, passed some level of approval.

“It is clear that there is a de facto freeze even in Jerusalem,” said Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, a proud Jerusalemite whose family has lived in the city for more than a century.

“If Israel doesn’t build in Jerusalem, it gives the impression that Israel would consider dividing Jerusalem. It is very worrisome, because everyone who knows the city and its intricacies understands that it cannot be divided.”

Rivlin said that freezing construction as a confidence-building measure for the Palestinians was unwise because the world would not understand how Israel could resume building afterward.

“The test of unity to Jerusalem is gauged not by declarations but by actual building on the ground,” Likud MK Danny Danon said. “I will ask the prime minister and the mayor to clarify whether this happened coincidentally or for technical reasons, or whether we severely decreased our building in our own capital because of pressure from Washington.”

National Union MK Arye Eldad said the Post report actually understated the problem, because it did not differentiate between government construction and private building. He said that 411 out of the 433 units that advanced were private building, while the government only advanced one small project in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood that was actually approved under former prime minister Ehud Olmert.

“The government is lying to the public and surrendering to Obama,” Eldad said. “This government likes to talk about Jerusalem, but when it comes to actually building in our capital, it is the most cowardly government we have ever had.”

Meretz chairman Haim Oron praised the fall in east Jerusalem construction. He said that a complete freeze was necessary everywhere over the pre-1967 border.

“It’s good that the construction fell, but what really matters is that the freeze continues,” Oron said. “It will be impossible to advance talks [with the Palestinian Authority] while we build, east Jerusalem included.”

Melanie Lidman contributed to this report.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town