'Zionism realized' - new highway unites Jerusalem

Watch: Councilman announces key highway linking capital's northeast, housing project overlooking Samuel's grave.

Ari Yashar ,

Arieh King at Highway 21 construction in Beit Hanina
Arieh King at Highway 21 construction in Beit Hanina

In footage obtained by Arutz Sheva on Monday, Jerusalem Councilman and Israel Land Fund (ILF) founder and chairman Arieh King announced a strategic breakthrough in northeastern Jerusalem, hailing a new highway connecting the capital that was recently approved by the municipality.

King spoke about the recently started construction on the highway, from inside the Arab-majority neighborhood of Beit Hanina.

The new Highway 21 is to connect Pisgat Ze'ev and Neve Ya'akov to Ramat Shlomo and Highway 9 leading out of the city, and likewise it will connect French Hill with Highway 20 leading to the Atarot industrial area. In doing so, it will reconfigure the map in the strategic northeastern part of the capital where Jewish neighborhoods are ringed by Arab-majority sections.

King explained that the new highway will reduce the heavy morning traffic in the area, providing a particular benefit for those commuting to the Tel Aviv region.

The original plan for Highway 21 was in fact initiated by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert during his stint as Jerusalem Mayor, but the plan remained shelved for dozens of years until recently being passed by the municipality.

The Transportation Ministry, headed by Yisrael Katz, is providing full funding for the project, which is to cost around 200 million shekels (just over $51 million). Currently stages A through C of the plan are being carried out, at a cost of 60 million shekels (over $15 million).

Stage A has already begun, providing access to Ramat Shlomo from the direction of Shuafat.

Dozens of Jews have been living in Beit Hanina for the past four years on Jewish property.

Arutz Sheva has learned that King's ILF in recent days is advancing a housing project entitled "Nof Shmuel" in the area. The project is to look out onto Kever Shmuel Hanavi, the grave of the Biblical prophet Samuel located northwest of Jerusalem, and is to include several hundred housing units.