Foreign Minister Yair Lapid says that the government will formulate a policy for the Atarot area that won’t lead to a diplomatic crisis.
“The government of Israel will determine its policy on the construction of Atarot,” Lapid tells a faction meeting of his Yesh Atid party. “We will make sure that it does not turn into a confrontation with the American government.”
Lapid promises that the issue will be resolved internally within the coalition government.
Last month a local committee in the Jerusalem municipality gave preliminary approval to a mass housing project on the grounds of the old Atarot airport in East Jerusalem, sparking concern from Washington. Israel then indicated it would walk back the plan, but the US was dismayed to see that it nevertheless remained on the docket for today’s meeting of the District Planning Committee in the Interior Ministry.