The Jerusalem municipality approved Tuesday a plan to build 130 housing units in the Gilo neighborhood in the souther part of Jerusalem beyond the Green Line.
The plan, which originally called for building a tourist area on the border of the village of Beit Safafa, was eventually changed in favor of resident housing. Beit Safafa residents opposed the plan, saying that it hurt the village’s ability to develop.
The plan was approved by the municipality nearly unanimously, with only one objection from Deputy Mayor Yosef Alalo (Meretz).
Left-wing sources attacked the plan, saying they were being put into place while the rest of the international community was on Christmas holiday, so as to avoid condemnation.
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The city’s municipality responded, saying that “there have been no changes to the municipality’s policy for the past 40 years, and we will continue to build in all of Jerusalem’s neighborhoods,” and that a future plan will include thousands of housing units for all of the city’s residents.
The municipality also approved two separate plans presented by the Elad organization, which would allow it to develop certain areas surrounding the City of David archeological park, located in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
The plans approval comes a day after a channel dug for archaeological excavations in Silwan partially collapsed near the village's mosque. Residents of the neighborhood place the responsibility for the collapse on the Elad, accusing it of endangering the mosque and nearby homes.
Elad says infrastructure problems and illegal construction are the cause of the cracks and some of the collapses.
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