Israel freezing eastern Jerusalem construction


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel is freezing the construction of 1,500 housing units in an eastern Jerusalem neighborhood.

The Yediot Acharonot report of the freeze in Har Homa follows last week’s visit there by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who as prime minister approved the first construction.

The Ministry for Construction and Housing and Jerusalem municipality confirmed to Yediot that two necessary planning discussions set for the coming week on advancing the construction have been canceled for unknown reasons.

Unnamed planning officials identified as being “familiar with the details of the plan” said that the program is not being advanced due to the political sensitivity and that there had been no approval from the Prime Minister’s Office to hold the planning discussions, according to Yediot.

On his visit to Har Homa the day before elections, Netanyahu said building in Har Homa “was a way of stopping Bethlehem from moving toward Jerusalem. This neighborhood, exactly because it stops the continuation of the Palestinians, I saw the potential was really great.”

He added, “We will continue to build in Jerusalem. We will add thousands of residential units and withstand all the pressure as we to continue to develop our eternal capital.”

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