Site of old airport and proposed neighborhood
Site of old airport and proposed neighborhoodYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Toward the end of her term in office, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked approached Jerusalem's Local Planning and Building Committee with a request that the committee expedite the construction of the Atarot neighborhood, Israel Hayom reported.

The plan would see the construction of 9,000 housing units in the area of Jerusalem's old Atarot Airport.

The plan is considered politically sensitive due to the former airport's location in northern Jerusalem in an area which was liberated in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Shaked, who promoted the plan during her term as Interior Minister, wanted to complete it in the last week of her term in office before leaving political life. However, she was infomed that since the environmental impact review has yet to be completed, final approval cannot be granted at this stage and the process will probably take another three months or more.

Sources close to Shaked state that since her Jewish Home party did not make it into the 25th Knesset, she does not feel beholden to either outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid or Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and would be unmoved if either them sought to force her to halt the project due to pressure from the Biden Administration.

According to the sources, "Although it is not possible to complete the Atarot planning process at the moment, Shaked has pushed the plan has far as she could during her term in office. Now it is up to the next government to complete it. This is about securing Israel's hold on northern Jerusalem and actualizing a plan that will supply tens of thousands of apartments for the thriving real estate market in the city."