Photo Credit: Lior Mizrahi / Flash 90
A completed apartment building complex in southern Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood, photographed in December 2015.

Israeli officials have given final approval to plans for another 153 new homes in the very crowded southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.

Deputy Mayor and City Council member Meir Turgeman told the AFP news agency on Thursday the approvals were in the pipeline for quite some time but were among those held up along with thousands of others, due to pressure from the Obama administration.


The official said as many as a total of 11,000 housing units could be approved in the coming months, given the backlog of permits and paperwork that was shut down or frozen due to political pressure from the White House over the past eight years.

This week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman together announced the approval of construction plans for 2,500 housing units in Judea and Samaria.

Two days prior, the Jerusalem Municipal Planning and Construction Committee announced final approval of nearly 600 building permits for housing units in neighborhoods in both Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, all of them located beyond the 1949 Armistice Line.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.