The recent Israeli decision to build new Jewish homes in Jerusalem’s Har Homa neighborhood has been with criticism, but the head of the neighborhood residents’ committee is unfazed.
The plan to build 930 new homes in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood was authorized last week by the Interior Ministry for marketing by the contractors who won development tenders, and for eventual construction.
The European Union responded to the approval almost immediately, saying it was ‘disappointed’ in the decision and calling Israel to “immediately end all settlement activities in East Jerusalem.” The area is not in east Jerusalem, which seems to be a UN, EU and media blanket term for areas reunited to Jerusalem in the Six Day War.
The State Department followed, also expressing its objection to the move. But Herzl Yechezkel, head of Har Homa’s residents’ committee, said Wednesday he was not worried about the criticism.
“I’m glad that Har Homa is making headlines,” Yechezkel told Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew website. “I want to congratulate the Israeli government for deciding to resume construction in Jerusalem. This plan was sitting in the District Committee for a while and finally it will go into effect.”
Yechezkel added, “We need to build and not to worry about building in the eternal capital of the Jewish people. Ben Gurion once said that it doesn’t matter what the gentiles say, it matters what Jews do.”
He said he is convinced that the last word regarding construction in Har Homa is yet to be spoken. “I look forward to the approval of the next phases of construction. The zoning laws call for another 4,000 housing units to be built here. There are currently 20,000 residents in the neighborhood and the target is 40,000.”
Yechezkel said that believes that continued construction in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem will solve the national housing shortage.
“Especially now with all the protests, it is important that construction continues,” he said. “Part of the problem was caused by the stopping the construction in Judea and Samaria. Building here will resolve the housing crisis for everyone.”