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August 30, 2016 / 26 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘construction’

Analysis: US Critical of Jewish Construction, Mum on Next Door Govt. Construction for Arabs

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

The US State Department on Wednesday released a statement saying it is “deeply concerned by reports today that the Government of Israel has published tenders for 323 units in East Jerusalem settlements. This follows Monday’s announcement of plans for 770 units in the settlement of Gilo.”

The State Dept. added, “We strongly oppose settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace. These steps by Israeli authorities are the latest examples of what appears to be a steady acceleration of settlement activity that is systematically undermining the prospects for a two- state solution.”

Now, keep in mind that the area in question is eastern Jerusalem, and that these days there are two government supported construction plans in the same area, practically next door to each other: one is the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo, the other, comprised of 600 new units, in Arab Beit Safafa. Same territory, same government, everyone involved being a registered resident of the Israeli capital city of Jerusalem, yet the State Dept. has nothing negative to say about the Beit Safafa expansion plan.

In other words, the US is upset with Israeli construction in eastern Jerusalem when Israeli Jews receive the housing, but it’s fine for Israel to build in the forbidden zone for Israeli Arabs.

In fact, the State Dept. announcement completely ignores the Israeli government’s effort on behalf of Israeli Arabs in Jerusalem, condemning Israel for “denial of Palestinian development that risk entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict.”

In conclusion, the State Dept. notes, “We remain troubled that Israel continues this pattern of provocative and counterproductive action, which raises serious questions about Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful, negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.” It would have been nice had the US acknowledged that Israel is devoting equal resources to Arabs and Jews in the same area, and that it represents in concrete ways its commitment to peace.

JNi.Media

European Union Unhappy With Israel Over Gilo Housing Project

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

The European Union is, once again, unhappy with Israel about local municipal plans to move ahead with building new apartments in Jerusalem.

The city is proceeding with its routine to approve construction of some 770 housing units, barely a drop in the bucket for the average bustling municipality, let alone a growing metropolis.

Jerusalem is bursting at the seams and in desperate need of affordable housing.

The new project is to be built in the Gilo neighborhood, in the southern section of the city. However, this one little project has deeply upset the European Union, enough to issue a statement castigating Israel over the matter less than 24 hours after an elderly Catholic priest was murdered, his throat cut at the altar of his own church while serving Mass, by two Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists.

He was, in fact, ritually slaughtered on that altar before his flock, his blood flowing on to the steps while the radical Islamists yelled the traditional Islamic jihadist war cry “Allahu Akbar!” (God is Great!) and other unknown phrases in Arabic.

ISIS has vowed repeatedly over the past year to take its battle to the “Crusaders” of Europe and the Middle East. On Tuesday they fulfilled that promise — and yet the European Union somehow still believes it more important to focus its energies on scolding Israel for providing affordable housing for its residents in Jerusalem.

“Israel’s recent decision to advance plans for some 770 housing units in the settlement of Gilo, built on occupied Palestinian land in East Jerusalem, undermines the viability of a two-state solution,” said EU spokesperson David Kriss in a statement sent to media on Wednesday.

“It contributes to the establishment of a ring of Israeli settlements around the city, thus further cutting East Jerusalem off from the southern West Bank. “This announcement comes just weeks after the report of the Middle East Quartet called on Israel to abandon its settlement policy, which is illegal under international law.

“The decision raises legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions, which are compounded by the statements of some Israeli ministers that there should never be a Palestinian state. The EU calls on Israel to reverse this decision and to cease its settlement activity,” Kriss said.

It’s amazing that after all this time, Europe is still unable to bring itself to make peace with the idea that Gilo, a neighborhood of some 40,000-plus that has existed well within the Jerusalem municipal boundaries for more than 35 years, is not going away.

Nor is it a “settlement” outside the city, which anyone can clearly see if they bothered to visit either in person or through a virtual swing through the neighborhood via the Google software.

As for the long-term intentions of the Jewish State, it might be far more constructive (excuse the pun) for the European Union to consider the long-term intentions of the Palestinian Authority rather than those of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization from which it was born has from the outset cherished the dream of conquering the Land of Israel from “the [Jordan] river to the [Mediterranean] sea.”

Hana Levi Julian

One Third of Public Complaints to Israel’s Ombudsman ‘Justified’

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Retired Judge Joseph Shapira, who serves as both State Comptroller and Ombudsman, on Monday submitted his annual Report to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

Edelstein noted that the number of public complaints filed with the Ombudsman’s office last year – 15,000, marks an increase from 2014.

“This is a positive statistic which shows that the citizens are fighting bureaucracy and foolishness, but it also shows that there are many more issues which must be dealt with, particularly when a third of the complaints were found to be justified,” said the Knesset speaker.

“The complaints were handled in a professional, thorough and fair manner, and perhaps this will motivate citizens to file more complaints,” Edelstein added, saying, “I am certain that the people in the State Comptroller’s Office, whom I thank for their dedicated work, will provide the appropriate professional service wherever necessary.”

State Comptroller Shapira said in response that “it’s important that the public is showing concern and is not willing to ignore [violations]. There are companies where the percentage of justified complaints was [very high]. At the Israel Postal Company, for instance, some 69 percent of the complaints were found to be justified. It is [gratifying] to see that the public is taking this matter seriously. It contributes to a better society.”

Besides the postal service, the government bodies with the highest number of justified complaints were: Ministry of Transport and Road Safety – 52%, Broadcast Authority – 48%, the IDF – 44%, Israel Electric Company – 41%, and Ministry of Education – 40%.

Government agencies with 100 complaints or more in 2015 were: National Insurance Institute (Israel’s Social Security agency), The Israel Postal Company Ltd., Israel Police, Ministry of Economy and Industry, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Transport and Road Safety, Ministry of Housing and Construction, and Israel Tax Authority.

Shapira said that in 2015 he issued 20 orders which legally protect citizens who expose corruption, 15 temporary and 5 permanent. “This is above the average [number of orders],” he noted.

2015 saw an increase of 25% of complaints filed online.

State Control Committee Chairperson MK Karin Elharrar (Yesh Atid) said the report indicates that the complaints filed with the Ombudsman’s Office relate to the daily affairs of the country’s citizens. “I call on all the government offices to [work together] so that corruption will gradually subside,” she said.

The principal function of Israel’s state comptroller is to review the legality, regularity, efficiency, economy, and ethical conduct of public institutions. The reviews are performed by ongoing as well as spot inspections of the financial accounts and activities of all ministries, the armed forces and security services, local government agencies, and any corporations, enterprises, or organizations subsidized or managed by the state to any extent.

By law, the State Comptroller also functions as Ombudsman to whom members of the public may send complaints about actions by governmental bodies that have caused them harm.

JNi.Media

Turkey’s President Erdogan ‘Waiting for Israel’ to Respond on Gaza

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is waiting for Israel to grant permission for Turkey to construct energy and water transfer infrastructure in Gaza, according to a report published Saturday (May 21) in the Hurriyet Daily News, quoting an earlier broadcast.

“I expect that something will happen this month. It’s my wish that we’ll reach a conclusion in a short time,” Erdogan told a news broadcast by A Haber on May 19.

“In regards to [lifting] the embargo, they say, ‘We are open to allowing goods into Gaza through Turkey, but we are not open to those coming from places other than Turkey.’ But the problem is not only this. We have some other demands,” Erdogan said.

The Turkish leader said Ankara has demanded that Israel allow provision of continuous energy to Gaza, “as the enclave has only three to four hours of electricity per day,” Erdogan said.

He added that Turkey’s proposal to provide electricity to Gaza through a naval vessel was rejected by Israel.

“But they proposed something else: We told them that we are ready to construct all the infrastructure [of energy]. They viewed the proposal positively,” Erdogan said.

The second demand, he said, was that Turkey be allowed to provide water to Gaza either by desalinating the sea water or by drilling wells. “There are positive developments with regard to this issue as well,” he said.

Turkey’s third demand from Israel, said Erdogan, was regarding construction projects in Gaza.

“Our third offer is about building schools and hospitals. The construction of a hospital has been completed and necessary equipment is being provided. ‘These must be done,’ we told them. ‘If these would be done, then we’ll immediately appoint ambassadors and improve our relations in the right direction.’”

According to the report, Israeli and Turkish diplomats are expected to meet in the near future to finalize an agreement between the two countries.

But it’s impossible to know what the final outcome will be: Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party is set to meet at a nationwide Congress on May 22 to choose a new prime minister.

Incumbent Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, hand-picked by Erdogan, resigned his position earlier this month.

Hana Levi Julian

New American-Style Community Underway in Ramat Givat Zeev

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Rav Bezalel Rudinsky, rabbi of Congregation Ahavas Yitzchok, and Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Ohr Reuven and Yeshivas Darchei Noam of Monsey, has joined in the development of a brand-new, American-style community in Ramat Givat Zeev, located minutes from Jerusalem.

“The idea, bezras Hashem, is to help members of our community here in the States have everything that we have here but with the zechus of being in Eretz Yisrael, with a unique emphasis on building an all-inclusive community where everyone feels connected,” said Rav Rudinsky. While the community is still in the preliminary stages of construction and development, some 200 English-speaking families already have purchased private homes and luxury apartments in the neighborhood. Select apartments remain.

“The concept is basically to create a unified communal lifestyle in Eretz Yisrael,” Rav Rudinsky explained. “And for the families with younger children, to have in place an educational system similar to what we have in the U.S.” After fully functioning, the neighborhood will include an American-style yeshiva.

Under the planning and management of Chish Nofei Israel, Ramat Givat Zeev will be an upscale, Torani community built to include high standards of construction and infrastructure, only minutes outside of Jerusalem. The neighborhood will blend Torah living with modern recreational and commercial centers, complete with all necessary services and amenities, including schools, yeshivas, shuls, shops, and parks.

Ramat Givat Zeev is bound to be a magnificent, dream-come-true community for those looking to invest in a future in Eretz Yisrael.

Daniela Berkowitz

Grave Watching

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Some fifty Hareidi men stand in protest at a construction site in Gilo where ancient grave were found while digging.

They believe the bodies found are of Jews, and do not want them moved for the construction of new housing units that were planned for the site.

Photo of the Day

Israeli Ambitious Project Launching First New City in Decades: Harish

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

(JNi.media) Israel will invest more than $250 million in turning the community of Harish into the first new city to be built since the 1990s, Israeli media reported Wednesday. According to a multi-year plan to be submitted to the Netanyahu cabinet at its next meeting, Harish will be defined as “a national priority community” for the next four years. A special hub will be established to serve the tens of thousands of new residents, and the Ministry of Construction and Housing will boost the size of the personnel assigned to the new project. Harish will be connected to the main transportation routes and will have a new transit system.

To get an idea of the sheer ambition of the new project: currently there are about 300 families living in Harish, and the plan calls for more than 50,000 residents there by 2020.

Harish is a municipality in the district of Haifa in Israel, located in northwestern Samaria, on a par with Hadera, just west of the “green line” where the northern belly of Judea and Samaria pushes in to about 15 miles in from the coast. It was founded in the 1980s as Kibbutz Harish, at an altitude of 330 feet above sea level, which makes for a refreshing breeze each afternoon. The kibbutz was abandoned in 1993, except for a Border Guard detachment that camped there. On the lands of the abandoned kibbutz the Housing Ministry established a new community, also named Harish, of about 300 dwelling units. The Ministry of Housing has invested heavily in the local infrastructure and in planning, but the development endeavor has failed. Most of the streets are empty, and the local population is weak.

The cabinet’s decision requires government offices to weigh Harish’s entitlements not based on its demographics at the beginning, but rather at the end of each year, greatly improving the new city’s ability to manage the absorption of new residents before they actually arrive.

Among other things, the plan calls for the establishment of 400 classrooms and day care centers; a new community service center; family health centers (MCHC); a crisis center that will include a police, fire and rescue station, as well as an emergency operating center; reinforcing social services to strengthen the community and dealing with the difficulties of transition; developing and promoting transportation access to Harish via connections with highways 444, 65 and 9, including interchanges and grade separations, and paving route 611; and developing and promoting public transport, including increasing bus routes to employment centers and adding a station on the railway.

Prices at this point are very attractive, according to commercials: around $200,000 for 4-room apartments with the kind of view of the Mediterranean that’ll make you cry in your Chardonnay on your terrace.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-ambitious-project-launching-first-new-city-in-decades-harish/2015/12/16/

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