Jerusalem okays thousands of new homes in East Jerusalem

A Jerusalem municipal planning committee advances 1,465 housing units in East Jerusalem, in an area that left-wing groups say would make establishing a contiguous Palestinian capital in the city far more difficult.

The new neighborhood is being planned for the land between the Jewish neighborhoods of Givat HaMatos and Har Homa, both of which were themselves controversial due to their location.

Left-wing Israeli groups and Palestinians oppose Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, which they hope will one day become the capital of a Palestinian state. Right-wing Israelis, who oppose Palestinian independence, support an “undivided” Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

An engineer surveys Har Homa. (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash90)
An engineer surveying land between the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Har Homa, pictured, and Givat Hamatos in 2012. (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash90)

According to Peace Now, the planned units would “conclusively prevent territorial contiguity between East Jerusalem Palestinian neighborhoods and Bethlehem.”
The committee’s approval is merely the first stage in the planning process. The proposal will be formally discussed at the Jerusalem District Planning Committee on January 17, 2022; if it passes there, the plan will go on to the “deposit” stage, at which point it will be far more difficult to suspend.

Another 2,092 housing units are advanced in the Jewish neighborhood of French Hill, which also lies over the Green Line.

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