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Monday, December 03, 2012

Government advancing Ramat Shlomo project

Amidst international pressure over E-1 and the 3,000 new housing units announced by the government on Friday, the interior ministry has decided to push ahead with the construction of 1,600 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo, a neighborhood well within Jerusalem city limits (located on land that was no man's land before 1967), but which much of the world regards as 'east' Jerusalem.
The Interior Ministry's District Planning and Construction Committee will discuss the project in just two weeks, according to Jerusalem deputy mayor Yossi Deitsch (UTJ), who told reporters he was pushing the project to show Jerusalem's sovereign right to build in the capital.
The project already became a major source of international controversy as part of the "Biden Fiasco," when the project was approved for deposit during the US vice president's visit to Israel in March 2010. Following the incident, the Prime Minister's Office instituted "increased mechanisms" to ensure they are involved and updated about all east Jerusalem building projects. The discussion is set for December 17 in the District Committee.
Ramat Shlomo is one of five Jerusalem ring neighborhoods, along with Gilo, Ramot, Pisgat Zev, and East Talpiyot, which are located across the 1967 Green Line. The District Planning and Construction Committee last discussed the project in August of 2011, during the height of the social justice tent protests, when Yishai trumpeted the project as a way to build affordable housing for young people.
This is kind of ridiculous. There is absolutely no chance in the world that the government is going to abandon Ramat Shlomo in negotiations. Even the 'Palestinians' agreed with Olmert in 2008 that Ramat Shlomo is staying with Israel. So to say that Israel cannot build there is pathetic. 

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