J'lem building committee convenes

For 1st time since Biden crisis, east J'lem construction on agenda.

April 28, 2010 21:00
1 minute read.
Ramat Shlomo construction.

Ramat Shlomo construction 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)


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The Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Committee will convene on Tuesday next week for the first time after its discussions were held by request from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The request came in order to develop orderly guidelines that would prevent embarrassments such as the construction approvals of 1,600 housing units in east Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo unleashed by the committee during US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit last March, which strained the US-Israel relationship.

Since the Biden crisis, the committee hasn’t reconvened, and Jerusalem construction proceedings were frozen off, even for housing in west Jerusalem.

The first committee meeting on Tuesday will not deal with east Jerusalem building permits, but a second session on Thursday will discuss small plans, that include prospective housing units in east Jerusalem

Along with the move, Interior Minister Eli Yishai instructed the committee to submit any politically sensitive building plans to him for approval prior to proceeding with them, Army Radio reported Wednesday.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, currently on a visit to Washington, termed the current US calls for a building freeze ‘A slap in the face'.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, Barkat also denied reports of a de facto freeze in east Jerusalem, saying they were “simply not true."

He stressed that there had only been a temporary freeze in the wake of tensions with the US over the Ramat Shlomo construction approval.

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