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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Jerusalem apartments that weren't approved

You will recall that when I reported on the new construction approvals last Friday, I noted that the number of approvals had been reduced to mollify the Obama administration. Where were the reductions? 600 of them were in Har Homa (pictured), a neighborhood in southeastern Jerusalem that was a source of conflict with both the Clinton and Bush II administrations.
Among other homes, about 1,300 housing units in Jerusalem, which passed all the planning and construction procedures, are not getting the green light that would turn them from blueprints to active construction sites.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently received a sensitive list that includes another 3,600 planned housing units in the rest of Judea and Samaria. As noted, most of these plans are not getting the final stamp of approval at this time.

Recently the prime minister informed the United States in advance of his plan to issue tenders for east Jerusalem construction of 240 homes, thereby ensuring a minor American response. However, the PM was apparently forced to give up plans to market another 600 apartments, in Har Homa, after the US Administration made it clear that this would put an immediate end to peace talks with the Palestinians.

"This is a disaster for Jerusalem," a real estate source in the capital said. "The freeze of the past year will create an immense shortage of apartments within a year or two, and dramatic price hikes."

"We are certainly in a trap," a senior government official said. "Long-standing Jerusalem neighborhoods are frozen in practice at this time already, as well as the settlement blocs. Every tender will create huge global resonance at this time…should Netanyahu grant the green light, construction work will get underway, but this won't happen soon apparently."

Meanwhile, another 3,727 housing units in Judea and Samaria have also been finalized and are only awaiting the approval of Defense Minister Ehud Barak. These projects, which are not being approved at this time, include 1,500 homes in the community of Beiter, 500 in Givat Ze'ev, and another 500 units in Karnei Shomron.
There's a severe housing shortage in Jerusalem, with most of the available land for building being located beyond the 1949 armistice line. Beitar and Givat Zev are both just outside Jerusalem in different directions. If there are going to be no negotiations anyway, why not approve all these units and alleviate the shortages somewhat?


At 10:39 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10:40 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Why does the Prime Minister have to approve construction in Jerusalem? In every country in the world but in Israel that is the responsibility of the city government. Hand the responsibility back to the Jerusalem municipality and the next time there's a world outcry, say the national government is not involved, its a city matter.

City planning decisions shouldn't be a Prime Minister's job in the first place.

What could go wrong indeed

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jerusalem has a population of 800,000 people today, which will grow to a million people twenty years from now.
The current population ratio is one-third Muslim, two-thirds Jewish, and two percent Christian. In the next twenty years, we anticipate a need for 50,000 apartments - one-third for the Arab population and two-thirds for the Jewish population.
It would be to hear what Mayor Bloomberg would do if somebody built an illegal structure in the middle of Central Park or anywhere else in New York. The Jewish population in Jerusalem is punished if it does not obey the law, and justifiably so. But sometimes I hear the world say that the Jewish population has to obey the law while the Arab population does not. http://tiny.cc/yyqo8

At 7:02 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Blog, the Jerusalem Municipality, out of fear of world opinion, has refused to act decisively against illegal Arab construction.

And how in the world is Israel going to provide the hundreds of thousands of new homes young Jewish couples need in Jerusalem if it has to clear them with Obama first? It won't.

That's the long and short of it.


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