Published on : Mar 26, 2015
Israel has scrapped the plan to build 1,500 new housing units in East Jerusalem. The decision comes despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's announcement to continue construction regardless of international pressure. East Jerusalem is the neighboring region of Har Homa, a little beyond the Green Line.
From the looks of it, the construction plan in Har Homa seems to have been stalled for no apparent reasons. No planning glitches or professional misconducts were stated while announcing the freezing news.
The Ministry for Construction and Housing and Jerusalem municipality stated that the meetings about planning have been canceled without any reasons. According to planning officials the sudden change in construction plans are due to the shifting political landscape and no sanction from the Prime Ministerial Office for the discussions.
The construction of new buildings was to take place on private land which is west of the Har Homa neighborhood. The present plan includes construction of 1,500 units, with a capacity to increasing the number to 2,000 units anytime in the future.
Previous constructions in Har Homa had led to friction between the U.S. and Israel, as the former considers it an illegal activity in accordance with the international law. Prior to the Knesset elections, Netanyahu was assertive about not supporting creation of Palestine if he won the re-election. However, he is now downplaying his comments with a defense that he had not followed up with his 2009 speech and that the present situation is terrible for a Palestine state.