Maariv: Jerusalem municipality moving forward on construction in Gilo
This report follows the news Tuesday (April 13 2010) that Mayor Nir Barkat was attempting to renew house demolitions in East Jerusalem. Note also the repetitive framing of the story as an act of defiance of the US administration (three out of five paragraphs.)
Roni Malul, Maariv, April 14 2010 [page 14]
Despite the crisis with the United States about constructing in the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, it appears that the municipality is supporting continued construction in the Gilo neighborhood, which was annexed to Israel in 1967.
The Jerusalem municipality’s local planning committee, which will meet tomorrow, will discuss the permits for constructing community buildings in Gilo despite the White House’s vigorous opposition to construction over the Green Line. Municipality officials commented that the plan was approved in principle in 1995 and that now, a decision was made to carry it out on the ground.
The committee’s agenda will include the final approval of a construction plan that involves the expropriation of several lots in Gilo’s Area 5 by the Israel Lands Administration for the municipality. This plan expands the neighborhood by two hundred housing units. According to the plan, a school and synagogue will also be built there.
“These are not new construction plans, and there are no actual construction plans for the public buildings yet,” the municipality spokesman said. “This is only a decision to transfer the land from the Israel Lands Administration to the municipality, as was agreed upon in the past.”
This is not the first time that construction in the Gilo neighborhood has aroused criticism in the United States. Approximately five months ago, Obama spoke against Israel’s decision to approve the construction of 900 housing units there. He said that Israel’s decision constituted an obstacle to the resumption of negotiations and did not contribute to Israel’s security.