Monday, July 3, 2017

Jewish construction in Jerusalem to be unfrozen

The Jerusalem District Planning Commission is expected to grant permits for thousands of homes in united Jerusalem later this month, Haaretz reported Monday, marking the end of the de facto freeze on Jewish construction in large swaths of the capital.
In 2010, then-Vice President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blasted Israel for the approval of 1,600 housing units in the north Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.
The approval of the planned project was given during Biden’s first visit to Israel since taking office in 2009, and sparked an angry backlash from the Obama White House.
Following the diplomatic blowup, the Netanyahu government imposed a de facto building freeze on Jewish housing in Jerusalem neighborhoods built since 1967, significantly reducing the number of housing permits issued and slow-walking new projects through committee.
Residents of the capital and nationalist MKs expressed hope following the election of President Donald Trump last November that the inauguration of the new Republican administration would mean the end of the restrictions on Jewish construction imposed in 2010.
Now, it appears that Israel may in fact be on the verge of scrapping the building freeze, with thousands of units likely to be approved over the next two weeks. READ MORE