The Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee today approved a plan to build 150 housing units in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of northern Jerusalem, with half of the units in the project earmarked for Jews and half for Arabs.
45 days will now be given to submit objections, after which the plan will be submitted for approval by the District Planning and Building Committee.
In the Beit Hanina neighborhood, there are now only seven Jewish couples and five single men. No urban planning scheme of this size has ever been approved for Jews in Beit Hanina, which includes details to the level of completing construction, public areas and more.
The area designated for construction covers an area of 11 dunams (2.71 acre) and is located in the Beit Hanina neighborhood, near the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood and hundreds of meters from the northern light rail route. According to the plan on the municipality's website, eight new residential buildings are planned with four in each compound. Each building will be between seven and twelve floors. The average size of an apartment will be 92 square meters, while in addition the plan offers 23.5% of the area for public open space.
Jewish settlement in the area was made possible after Arab invaders seized the land without proof of ownership and were forced to leave due to a legal proceeding led in 2012 by Israel Lands Fund Director Aryeh King.
"I welcome the decision," King said. "I wish upon all of us such a thing will become routine and won't become headlines when we approve building for Jews. This will happen when the mayor is replaced by one who is interested in the integrity and unity of Jerusalem."
"We're happy to announce today that we've approved construction of 150 housing units in Beit Hanina, and especially that 75 Jewish families can now live there," said Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Yossi Deitch.
"I hope approval of the units will be the sign and signal that construction in the city will be unfrozen next year throughout the city and for all sectors. I'll do everything possible to thaw the construction freeze in Jerusalem and thereby breathe life into the city," Deitch added.