Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has sent messages to the Biden Administration that the government would not promote the construction of the Atarot neighborhood of Jerusalem, Barak Ravid reported for Walla.
The plan to construct the neighborhood was approved by the local committee in Jerusalem a few days ago.
A senior diplomat said the prime minister made it clear to the United States that the government has no authority or control over the local committee, but once it reaches the district committee where the government can intervene, it will not be advanced.
Im Tirzu movement CEO Matan Peleg slammed the report. “What a shame that a man who made his political fortune through criticism from the right is folding so quickly in the face of American and European pressure. Jerusalem needs to be strengthened and fortified, every message of weakness is translated into the actual division of the city and the deepening of foreign involvement. Apparently there is no right in this government. Naftali Bennett, political laxity is not an ideology. Whoever voted for you is ashamed of you today."
The far-left Peace Now organization congratulated Bennett.
The planned neighborhood is located in the area of the abandoned Atarot Airport, on an area of approximately 1,243 dunams (307 acres) and would see the construction of a new residential neighborhood comprising thousands of housing units, including 800 protected housing units, space for hotels, areas for public buildings, open public areas and employment and commercial areas.
The plan to build the neighborhood includes the establishment of an area for employment and commerce near Road 45, and the preservation of the existing historic terminal building in the Atarot Airport area, all as part of a significant urban planning that produces a walking urban outline, including an array of paths and open public spaces between the neighborhoods.
The plan constitutes a significant land reserve available in the city, which enables development not at the expense of high-value open spaces. The plan also provides a significant response to the housing needs in the city.