930 Homes Approved for Har Homa
The Interior Ministry on Thursday authorized sale and construction of 930 new housing units in the Har Homa neighborhood in the southern part of the city. The plan, first approved by a local committee two years ago, was authorized by the Ministry for marketing by the contractors who won development tenders, and for eventual construction.
The Ministry announced that at least 20% of the units to be built will be small, suitable for young families. The size and number of rooms were not announced, however. Speaking to reporters, Interior Minister Eli Yishai said that “we continue to build in Jerusalem and all around the country. The housing crisis is a a serious one, and we shall not stop building new projects.” Yishai added that he had instructed Ministry employees dealing with building plans to give priority to plans that include smaller apartments “in order to enable all Israelis to purchase a home,” he said.
In a statement, the Ministry stressed that the delays in moving forward with the plan were strictly bureaucratic, and had nothing to do with the building freeze in Judea and Samaria. Har Homa is in an area of Jerusalem liberated in the 1967 Six Day War.
Observers said that if the government, by approving the apartments in Har Homa, hoped to reduce the pressure from tent protesters demanding more and affordable housing, they were likely to be disappointed. “As we all know, the New Israel Fund and other leftist groups are among the main organizers of these protests. They certainly will not be appeased by constructions of homes in an 'occupied' place like Har Homa. I think they would prefer to live in a tent than in Har Homa,” the observer said.