J'lem plans 1,900 new homes for Arabs

Municipality aims to improve quality of life by expanding Isawiya neighborhood in east Jerusalem.

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
September 24, 2007 22:24
isawiya 298 AJ east jerusalem

isawiya 224.88 AJ. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

The Jerusalem Municipality said Monday that 1,900 new apartments will be constructed in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiya, in an effort to improve the quality of life for Arab residents of the city. The neighborhood, which is located on the northern outskirts of the city, is home to 12,000 residents, while the population is expected to reach 18,500 by 2020, the city said. The new flats will be constructed on a 1,580 dunam space, and will see the expansion of the neighborhood which borders the northern Jerusalem neighborhoods of French Hill and Mount Scopus on one side and the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim on the other. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has in the past listed Isawiya as one of at least six outlying east Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods which should be transferred to full Palestinian control as part of a peace accord with the Palestinians. Palestinians and left-wing Israelis routinely complain it is difficult for Arabs to obtain building permits in Jerusalem, which forces them to build illegally, while the municipality insists it is evenhanded in enforcing building codes in all parts of the city.


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