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Israel: project to build 9,000 housing units in east Jerusalem advances

i24NEWS

2 min read
The abandoned Atarot Airport, north of Jerusalem, on April 8, 2020.
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90The abandoned Atarot Airport, north of Jerusalem, on April 8, 2020.

The international community and the Palestinian Authority condemned the project

The Jerusalem municipality authorized the construction of a 9,000-unit housing project in the community of Atarot, located beyond the pre-1967 Green Line. 

The international community and the Palestinian Authority (PA) condemned the project, which they say would cement the Israeli presence in an area of the city that was designated as part of the future capital of the Palestinian state. 

In addition, the PA and the international community consider that the project will enclose homes of Jewish families in the middle of Palestinian neighborhoods, making cohabitation difficult.  

While the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee is scheduled to meet on December 6 to discuss the project, the Municipal Building Committee already gave its full approval.  

The building plan calls for the transformation of 301 acres of land, where the Qalandiya airport once stood, into a new residential area, with parks, hotels, shopping centers and housing for the elderly.  

A delegation of European parliamentarians visited the site on Monday. Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, one of the EU representatives, said that "the project would jeopardize the possibility of a two-state solution.”

Jerusalem Vice Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum welcomed the decision of the City Building Committee, saying, “Jerusalem is a fast-growing city with almost a million residents, and we need more neighborhoods for young people to be able to buy and stay in the capital,” according to The Jerusalem Post.

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