Days after UN vote, Israel to consider okaying hundreds of new homes in East Jerusalem
Jerusalem planning committee to discuss building permits for housing units in Jewish neighborhoods of Ramot, Ramat Shlomo, Pisgat Zeev
It would mark the first such approvals since Friday’s UN Security Council vote demanding a halt to Israeli settlement building in territory the Palestinians claim for a future state. The resolution, which passed after the United States took the rare move of abstaining, infuriated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who lashed out at President Barack Obama, accusing him and his administration of colluding with the Palestinians, and vowed not to abide by it.
On Wednesday, a Jerusalem planning committee is to discuss issuing building permits for 618 housing units in Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, according to the Ir Amim NGO, which monitors settlement building.
According to the organization, 140 units are being considered in Pisgat Zeev, 262 in Ramat Shlomo, and 216 in Ramot.
Jerusalem deputy mayor Meir Turjeman, who also heads the committee, has reportedly also spoken of seeking to advance plans for some 5,600 other units at earlier stages in the process.
On Tuesday, he told AFP there were no plans to call off discussions in response to the UN vote. The hundreds of building permits were on the agenda before the resolution was passed.
“We’ll discuss everything that’s on the table in a serious manner,” he said.
And on his Facebook page Turjeman: “I’m not concerned by the UN or anything else trying to dictate our actions in Jerusalem.
“I hope the government and new US administration will give us the momentum to continue and make up for the shortage created over the eight years of the Obama administration,” he said of settlement construction.