Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
The first totally new Israeli-built neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem since Har Homa will soon be approved, introducing 2,610 Israeli homes to an area called Givat HaMatos.
The plan does not represent a widening out of existing Jewish neighborhoods, but rather creates something totally new.
The area is located between Beit Safafa and Talpiot. Peace Now, which called the project a “mini-E1″, decried the decision on its website: “The new neighborhood will complete the isolation between Bethlehem and East Jerusalem, and will destroy any possibility of a territorial solution in Beit Safafa and Shurafat. The Geneva Initiative proposed border will not be possible without dismantling the new Israeli neighborhood.”
Once the plan is given final approval, construction of the homes will begin.
Peace Now noted that “it does appear that the Givat Hamatos plan may allow some expansion of the existing Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa on the lands that are privately owned by Palestinians.”
About the Author: Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
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