Bolstered by US President Donald Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the government is reportedly planning to build around 14,000 units in the city, some 6,000 of them in East Jerusalem.
As part of the plan, being advanced by Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu), 5,000 units are planned for Atarot, north of Jerusalem and just outside Ramallah, and a further 1,000 units for the East Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev, Hadashot news reported Thursday.
These would be the first major development plans proposed over the Green Line in two decades.
In West Jerusalem, 3,000 apartments are to be built in the neighborhood of Katamon and 5,000 on Rehes Lavan, a slope bordering on the Green Line to the south of the city, between Moshav Ora and the Givat Masuah neighborhood, close to the Biblical Zoo. Rehes Lavan will be an entirely new neighborhood.
“Following President Trump’s historic declaration, I intend to advance and strengthen building in Jerusalem,” Galant was quoted as saying.
In June last year, the Jerusalem municipality denied it was planning to build a new neighborhood in Atarot.
Atarot is the site of a large industrial zone, where the city opened a recycling plant in 2015.
It also had an airport that stopped operating in 2001, after the outbreak of the Second Intifada. The airport was built by the British on land expropriated by a Jewish village and was completed in 1936. The Jewish village of Atarot was destroyed in the 1948 War of Independence.