Jerusalem Approves Plan to Build 891 Housing Units in Neighborhood Beyond Green Line

Plan to build homes in Gilo was pulled three weeks due to fears over sharp American reaction during Netanyahu's U.S. visit.

Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson
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An archive photo of construction in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.
An archive photo of construction in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.Credit: Daniel Bar On
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

The Jerusalem building and planning board on Wednesday approved a plan to construct 891 housing units in Gilo, a neighborhood located outside Israel’s June 1967 borders.

Three weeks ago, the plan was pulled at the last minute, fearing a sharp American reaction during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the United States. The plan for the southern slope of Gilo, in East Jerusalem, was given initial approval in late 2012. The plan involves private land.

Ir Amim, an organization advocating Jewish-Arab equality in the capital, condemned the step.

“The behavior of Netanyahu and his government concerning approval of the plan on the slopes of Gilo is another example of the cat and mouse games the Israeli government plays with the Americans regarding building in East Jerusalem," the group said. "Continued unilateral steps, such as this, will only deepen the crisis that Israel is descending toward in lieu of a diplomatic agreement and will destroy any chance of reaching a real and just solution in Jerusalem.”