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Netanyahu: Gilo is Not a Settlement

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejects the criticism over the decision to build in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 9/28/2011, 10:39 PM

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Screen Capture

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejected on Wednesday the condemnations of Israel over the decision to build 1,100 new housing units in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood.

“Gilo isn’t a settlement, but a Jerusalem neighborhood, 5 minutes away from the city center,” Netanyahu posted on his Twitter account. “All Israeli governments have built there.”

The plan, which was approved by the Interior Ministry, will see 20 percent of the units in Jerusalem’s southern neighborhood allotted for young couples.

It will be subject to 60 days of public debate before final approval from Jerusalem municipal authorities, and also includes the construction of a boardwalk, public structures, and a commercial center.

The plan was met with criticism by U.S. and European Union officials, with the U.S. saying the move was “deeply disappointing” and “counterproductive.”

Top EU diplomat Catherine Ashton said that the plan “should be reversed. Settlement activity threatens the viability of an agreed two-state solution and runs contrary to the Israeli-stated commitment to resume negotiations.”

The Palestinian Authority also railed against the approval, saying the new construction project is “a unilateral move by Israel that undermines Palestinian efforts to build a state with East Jerusalem as its capital" and "an obstacle to the peace process.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Rosh Hashanah in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)