Gilo construction (archive)
Gilo construction (archive) Israel news photo: Flash 90

Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood will expand by 1,200 housing units due to approval by a Jerusalem district zoning committee. Approval of the next step in the process came Monday after the committee reviewed public objections to the plan, the Interior Ministry announced.

The Gilo neighborhood is located close to the southern outskirts of Jerusalem, and across from an Arab village which was once a location from which terrorists used to attack the city's residents. Since the separation barrier was built, however, it has been impossible for gunfire to penetrate into the outlying neighborhoods of the Jewish capital.

The Interior Ministry's planning committee this month also approved a housing project – albeit reduced by 100 the number of permitted units (1,500) – to be built in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.

Reportedly Jerusalem's local planning committee also approved building permits for 2,610 housing units to be built in the southern Givat HaMatos neighborhood, near Gilo.

But according to activist Aryeh King, the report was inaccurate. King said last week the Jerusalem District Planning Committee rejected construction of 700 housing units for Jews at Givat HaMatos. A plan for building 600 housing units for Arabs in the same area, however, was approved, according to the Israel Lands Fund director, who said none of the plans are new.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, he said, is “recycling plans from two years ago. In actual fact, no plan has been approved” either in the northern Jerusalem Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, nor in the planned controversial “E1” Mevasseret Adumim neighborhood, King said.

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