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Despite US Pressure, Har Homa Construction Continuing Quietly

The Chairman of Har Homa authority in southern Jerusalem says construction in the neighborhood is continuing apace, US demands notwithstanding.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/31/2010, 10:39 PM / Last Update: 3/31/2010, 11:19 PM

Flash 90

Construction at Har Homa is continuing apace, the chairman of the authority in charge of developing the southern Jerusalem neighborhood said Wednesday.

Building in the neighborhood of Homat Shmuel within Har Homa continues, Chairman Herzl Yechezkel told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew service. “I want to remind Jerusalemites and all of the Nation of Israel that a little more than a year ago, [then-US Secretary of State] Condoleezza Rice was pressuring us not to build in Jerusalem,” he said. “We held a demonstration against stopping construction.”

"It turns out that these pressures come upon us for a limited time, and we stay here forever,” Yechezkel went on. “No one knows where Condoleezza Rice is now but we are still here. As far as we are concerned, we leave the diplomatic side to the government but we will make sure that the construction continues.”

Confidence in Netanyahu
Yechezkel is confident Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be able to withstand US and European pressure regarding construction in Jerusalem. “I want to tell the Prime Minister that whoever safeguards the Land of Israel will succeed, especially now during Passover as we go from slavery to redemption I want to remind people that the same Netanyahu, in '96, is the one who decided to start building the neighborhood and back then, too, there was pressure from leftist activists who threatened us that there would be a third world war here – and look, now we have 20,000 residents in the neighborhood, and we wish to strengthen the Prime Minister [and say] – 'go forth and be strong and save Israel.'”

Yechezkel strongly denounced Israelis who have been leaking news of construction starts in the capital. “I do not take kindly to the attempts by a certain sector in Israel that does not accept the election results and continues to undermine the government in a very indecent way,” he said. “I personally think we should 'lower our profile' and refrain from announcing every construction start. 'There is no blessing except in that which is hidden from the eye,'” he quoted a Talmudic sage.

"We are a young neighborhood [where] more than 40% [of the residents are] children and over 90% [are] keepers of tradition, and I hope that immediately after Passover there will be allocation of plots for synagogues,” he said.