Itongadol.- A controversial 2010 plan to build in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood over the Green Line was frozen after U.S. pressure, but next week it will be discussed by regional planning committee.
Two meetings that could significantly increase tensions in already-tense Jerusalem are slated to take place next week: one in the Knesset Internal Affairs Committee, which will be discussing the Temple Mount, and one in the regional planning committee for Jerusalem, which is expected to approve a large-scale plan for construction in East Jerusalem.
On Tuesday, the regional planning committee will discuss a plan to build 1,600 new apartments in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo, which is over the Green Line.
This plan sparked an unprecedented diplomatic crisis with Washington when the committee approved it for the first time in March 2010, while U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in Israel on an official visit. The plan was temporarily frozen in response to United States pressure, but in late 2012, after the UN General Assembly recognized Palestine as a nonmember observer state, it was unfrozen, and tenders were issued for construction of the new units.
Nevertheless, construction still hasn’t begun, because the requisite transportation infrastructure hasn’t been completed and therefore, building permits couldn’t be issued. But on Tuesday, the Moriah development company, which is owned by the Jerusalem municipality, will ask the planning committee to let the permits be issued anyway, and also to publish additional tenders.