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      Next Step Approved in Jerusalem Homes for Police, IDF

      Israel has taken the next step in building new homes for retired police and IDF troops in outlying areas of Jerusalem, Peace Now says.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 10/29/2012, 7:47 PM

      Construction in Gilo
      Construction in Gilo
      Reuters

      Israel has taken the next step in the process of building new homes for retired police and IDF troops in parts of Jerusalem restored to the city in the 1967 Six Day War. A plan to build the new neighborhood is being marketed to potential developers, according to the leftist Peace Now organization.

      A spokeswoman for the group, Hagit Ofran told the AFP news agency the Israel Land Administration released 180 units for development last week. Plans for the new neighborhood were approved last July, she added, noting the process is far from over. “Now they need to get building permits,” she explained, and said it could take “some months” before buyers are found.

      Both Bedouin Arabs and Druze serve in the Israel Police, Border Guard and Israel Defense Forces, and are eligible to buy the homes.

      Ofran complained to AFP, however, that no Palestinian Authority Arabs would be allowed to live in the new neighborhood: “The intention to sell it only to military and security veterans is one of the ugliest things,” she said. “When a residential neighborhood is finally built between two Palestinian neighborhoods, they make sure that [the Palestinians] cannot take advantage of it,” since PA Arabs do not serve in the military.

      The complex is to be located near the capital's outlying Jewish neighborhood of Har Homa, one of the newer areas developed after the war.

      It is adjacent to the Arab neighborhood of Sur Baher, a hotbed of Hamas terrorist incitement and hatred of Israel. Sur Baher is also home to a Hamas terrorist convicted earlier this year of carrying out a bombing attack in Jerusalem.

      Earlier this month, some 800 housing units were granted final approval by the city for construction in areas to the north and south of the capital, in Pisgat Ze'ev and near Gilo. Both areas were also restored to the city in the 1967 Six Day War.