Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Israel approves 891 new houses in Gilo, a neighborhood of Jerusalem on Arab lands
The Jerusalem building and planning board on Wednesday approved a plan to construct 891 housing units in Gilo, a settlement (neighborhood of Greater Jerusalem) on Palestinian land. 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.”