Jerusalem Arab Housing Plan Blocked By Political Right

Thursday June 23, 2011 11:05 by Kevin Murphy – IMEMC and Agencies 

A plan to build 2,500 Arab housing units in East Jerusalem was stopped by right-wing pressure groups and Haredi city council members on the grounds that it was a “politically dangerous” and “poorly conceived”.

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Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat had proposed a construction plan for 2,500 houses on private land in southern East Jerusalem. The vote was canceled on Monday because it was clear that it had no chance of passing.

The Left-wing council members criticized Barkat of a lack of effort to pass the plan and the Right-wing criticized the plan as both a political liability and as ill-designed. Councilman Yair Gabai of NRP said “This plan will create a dangerous reality of a contiguous built up area between Silwan and Abu Dis, thus effectively legitimizing the division of the city.”

In contrast with similar Jewish projects, the plan gives responsibility for the development to land owners instead of the city. It will take years to complete the construction as a result.

The municipality released statements affirming the importance of the plan and it will be reconsidered by the committee.

The designated land in the village of Sawahara is privately owned


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