The Jerusalem municipality’s local planning committee approved on Wednesday a new housing complex in the Ras Al-Amud neighborhood in the eastern part of the city.
According to report on Channel 10 News, the complex will be called Ma’aleh David and will contain 17 new residential units for new Jewish families.
The report noted that the complex is a four-story building which since 1967 has been used by the police’s Judea and Samaria Division. The building was recently returned to its owner, the Bukharian Trust. The owner renovated the building and turned it into an apartment complex.
Now that the local planning committee has approved the rezoning of the building, developers will be allowed to connect the building to electricity and other infrastructure and house the 17 new families in it.
Ras Al-Amud is a predominantly Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem next to the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery, burial place of famous rabbis, including Rabbi Kook and Menachem Begin. The Jordanians destroyed many of the headstones, even using them for latrines, during the period that they occupied the area. Next to it is Ma’ale HaZeitim, a predominantly Jewish neighborhood.
The move was slammed by MK Ibrahim Sarsur (Ra’am-Ta’al), who was quoted by Channel 10 as having said that the plan would hurt Israel’s political status and will increase the tension between the Arab and Jewish populations in Jerusalem.
Sarsur, despite being a representative in Israel’s parliament, is known for his statements against the State.
The Israeli government recently approved accelerated construction of 2,000 housing units in Judea, Samaria, and east Jerusalem.
The move was part of sanctions imposed on the Palestinian Authority (PA) for its unilateral moves to gain UN recognition as a state.