Just Another Few Buildings

Dozens of decisions were passed yesterday at the local committee for planning and construction in Jerusalem, and the proposal for the construction of four buildings at the Beit Orot complex was raised only toward the end of the meeting, after the committee chairman, deputy mayor Kobi Kahalon, had left the meeting, which was subsequently chaired by Israel Kellerman of United Torah Judaism.

Also present at the meeting were Elisha Peleg (Likud), Shlomi Attias (Shas), Yosef Lok (UTJ), Yair Gabai (National Religious Party), and Laura Verton (Meretz), who was the only one who opposed the proposal.

Verton said yesterday that the "vote was rushed and disorganized. I asked them to stop the vote but they did not listen to my arguments."

However, Meretz filed its reservations to the approval of the proposed construction and challenged the substance of the decision, not procedural issues.

Yesterday Kahalon defended the decision of the committee saying that it was not political.

"The plans that were approved are in line with the city plan which was approved for the area, and overall, when we discuss the cases we discuss issues of planning," he told Haaretz.

He added that "whoever deserves to build must build, and no one can impose policy. At this meeting we also approved 20 plans for Arabs in East Jerusalem. We are not discussing political issues, and the issue is purely on substance."