JERUSALEM (JTA) – A building plan for eastern Jerusalem that stirred a furor when it was approved during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden has been resurrected.
On Dec. 17, the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee will discuss the plan to build more than 1,600 apartments in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, according to reports. The Jerusalem municipality had approved the plan in March 2010 during a visit by Biden, causing a diplomatic uproar, after which the project was frozen.
Israel’s interior minister gave his final approval to the project in August 2011.
Discussion of the Ramat Shlomo project was moved up as a way to punish the Palestinians for the approval last week by the United Nations General Assembly of their enhanced statehood status, Haaretz reported Monday.
It comes on the heels of the announcement of plans to build 3,000 new housing units in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem that has raised the hackles of the United States, a number of European countries and the United Nations.