Amid fierce opposition from right-wing leaders, preliminary plans for the construction of 2,200 new Arab housing units in east Jerusalem’s Jabel Mukaber neighborhood were approved by the Interior Ministry’s District Planning and Building Committee on Monday.But the Secretary General of the Islamic-Christian Committee to Support Occupied Jerusalem and holy sites, Dr. Hanna Issa, condemned the move, saying that the move was illegal, violating the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Conventions.
The committee also retroactively approved 300 illegally-built Arab homes in the area.
On Tuesday, Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher at the pro-Palestinian NGO Ir Amim, who attended the meeting, described the plan as unprecedented.
Indeed, according to Tatasky the approval serves as a major victory for Arab residents of Jabel Mukaber who have long sought building permits, or feared imminent home demolitions for illegal construction.
“I think this is a very unusual and very good development,” he said. “The housing shortage in east Jerusalem is enormous, and this is the first time that a plan of this extent has been approved for a Palestinian neighborhood.”
The anti-Israel IMEMC also says that the new Arab homes are illegal:
The Israeli “Planning and Construction Committee” in occupied Jerusalem has approved, Tuesday, the construction of 2200 illegal settlement units in ‘Arab as-Sawahra neighborhood, in the Sawahra area, between Jabal al-Mokabber and Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem.Just remember, boys and girls: it isn't about loving Arabs. It's about hating Jews.
The Israeli Radio said the new plans aims at “legalizing” homes that were built without permits, and to construct what it called “public facilities.”