Construction at Mount of Olives.
(photo credit: MELANIE LIDMAN)
The Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Committee is expected to initially approve 942 housing units in the Gilo neighborhood tomorrow, just hours before President Shimon Peres meets with US President Barack Obama.
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The neighborhood is located beyond the Green Line, and therefore any building announcements are considered controversial.
The plan’s approval reminds many of the Ramat Shlomo fiasco last March when the Interior Ministry approved 1,600 housing units during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit, causing Biden to feel personally insulted and creating a rift between the US and Israel.
The 942 units in the Gilo plan are in the initial stages of the approval process, and, if approved, it will be years before construction begins. According to some reports, the plan will encompass 88,000 square meters, expanding Gilo to the east and south. It also includes zoning for an additional 300 possible units in the future.