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 2,275 housing units promoted in East Jerusalem in past two months while touristic settlement plans advance under the radar


August 23, 2018

Today, two large-scale plans for a total of 608 new housing units beyond the Green Line were deposited for public objections:

  • Gilo (TPS 400812), for construction of 345 housing units on an empty 22 dunam plot, located within the built-up area of ​​the settlement.
  • Ramot (TPS 483354), for construction of 263 housing units that will extend the settlement east toward the Begin Highway and Ramat Shlomo. The designated area is located adjacent to the area zoned for ​​Plan 6576, where 750 housing units have been under construction for the last several years.

Both plans were approved for deposit by the District Committee a year ago, when some 1,700 units advanced under a renewed wave of planning.  The 60-day clock for submission of public objections begins today.  According to the planning process – which does not designate set timetables – the District Committee could then meet to discuss objections and vote (at that time or at a following session) to approve the plan.

The Gilo plan is being promoted in tandem with development of the new Green Line branch of the Light Rail (construction of which was launched in May), which will be built adjacent to the settlement expansion. This sequencing of events once again exemplifies a pattern of the state investing billions of shekels in transportation infrastructures to allow for extensive construction beyond the Green Line.  

Today’s boost of 608 new units in Gilo and Ramot follows closely on the heels of publication of a tender for 603 housing units in Ramat Shlomo one week ago; and advancement of a spate of plans in Pisgat Ze’ev, for 1,064 housing units, two months ago.  

Along with these large-scale construction plans beyond the Green Line, plans are being advanced with increased vigor in the Palestinian neighborhoods around the Old City:

  • On September 2, the District Committee will discuss a plan by Israeli entrepreneurs to build a six-story building in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in which at least 75 families face eviction by radical settlers, legally bolstered by the state.
  • This year has seen the promotion of multiple touristic settlement plans in around the Old City, including a promenade in A-Tur designed to connect the private settlements of Beit Orot and Beit Ha’Hoshen; a bridge that will link Abu Tur to the old Samboski Cemetery to Silwan, in an area abutting the ELAD settler-operated City of David archeological park; the launch of a “ Yemenite heritage center” in the Ateret Cohanim settler compound in Batan al-Hawa, Silwan; and excavation of a tunnel in the Wadi Hilweh section of Silwan.

The Israeli government in investing hundreds of millions of shekels in these projects, adding to an expanding ring of settler-run tourist sites around the area known to the government and settler movement as the “Holy – “ or “Historic Basin”.

It is vital that the traditional calculus of settlement building be readjusted to a) treat these coordinated efforts to consolidate control of the Old City and surrounding Palestinian neighborhoods with the same urgency afforded to settlement building throughout the whole of East Jerusalem; b) ensure a holistic response that regards private settlement inside the Old City Basin and touristic settlement not as individual phenomena but as multiple elements of a unified and politically lethal strategy

Please address all inquiries to:

Betty Herschman

Director of International Relations & Advocacy

Ir Amim (City of Nations/City of Peoples)





Facebook: www.facebook.com/IrAmimEng

Twitter: @IrAmimAlerts




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