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Monday, December 28, 2009

Israel building 700 new apartments in 'east' Jerusalem

Israel has issued building permits for 692 apartments in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Pisgat Zev, Neve Yaakov and Har Homa, all of which are across the 1949 armistice lines. These apartments are in addition to the 900 apartments that were approved last month in Gilo.
The new construction tenders parallel a building freeze on new homes on Judea and Samaria.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced the freeze in order to encourage Palestinian Authority PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to resume negotiations on establishing the PA as an independent country, but he has flatly refused the offer.

Abbas has argued that Israel must honor President Obama’s demand that the freeze be extended to eastern Jerusalem, which the Arab world wants as the seat of a future PA state. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israeli diplomats and consular heads Sunday that the PA will not accept any Israeli concessions, even if it were to surrender all of eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
YNet reports that although Israel informed the US of these units in advance, a conflict between Israel on the one hand, and the US, the European Union and the 'Palestinians' on the other, may be inevitable.
The tender, which will be issued by the Housing and Construction Ministry on Monday, includes the construction of about 6,500 housing units in 54 communities, including the following disputed neighborhoods: 377 new apartments in Neve Yaakov, 117 housing units in Har Homa and 198 in Pisgat Ze'ev.

According to the officials, the US knew of the plan in advance, including the location of each housing unit. The sources refused to say, however, how the Americans responded to the Israeli construction plan in the three neighborhoods in the Jerusalem vicinity.

Senior state officials clarified that the timing of the tender was not random. According to the source, the Israeli government took advantage of the Christmas holiday, during which American and European government officials are on vacation.

The officials also mentioned that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had nothing to hide. "He explicitly declated, both in the cabinet and immediately afterwards to the entire world, that the decision to freeze construction in Judea and Samaria has nothing to do with Jerusalem. Israel built in Jerusalem before the freeze and will continue to build there now."

The Prime Minister's Office said in response to Ynet's appeal, "The Americans are updated on everything that is taking place in the construction field and has diplomatic consequences. Everything is being done with complete transparency."
Anyone else think Netanyahu will quietly cave on this?


At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

False positive.

At 5:54 PM, Blogger Moriah said...

I hope they aren't sold to rich Americans so some poor Americans cay buy... ;-)

At 6:18 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

My guess is the east Jerusalem construction will be quietly frozen. You just won't hear an announcement about it. You can ask Ariel Atitias, the Housing Minister, if any construction permits have actually been issued in this instance. And if they had been, would Netanyahu have really gone out of his way to inform Obama about it?


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