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Local Committee to Discuss Tomorrow Four New Plans for 3700 Housing Units in Jerusalem
04 January 2022

Tomorrow, January 5, the Jerusalem Local Planning Committee is expected to discuss four new outline plans initiated by the Israel Land Authority for the construction of a total of 3,702 housing units for Israeli neighborhoods, the majority of which will be located over the Green Line in Jerusalem. Beyond the fact that no similar planning has been advanced for Palestinian neighborhoods, the plans have been prepared in a way which violates the property and housing rights of East Jerusalem residents. Moreover, as a result of the sharp discrimination in urban planning of Palestinian areas, it should be noted that 134 housing units in East Jerusalem were demolished over the course of 2021, marking the second highest annual figure in two decades. Already within the first four days of 2022, four Palestinian homes have been razed.

The four outline plans to be discussed at the Local Planning Committee are as follows:  

1. TPS 808840 calls for the construction of 1,465 housing units on an area comprised of 186 dunams sandwiched between Har Homa, Givat Hamatos and Ramat Rachel and bordering the western side of the Palestinian neighborhood of Sur Baher (see map below). The new Israeli neighborhood/settlement is designated for land on both sides of the Green Line. According to the plan, an access road to the new neighborhood will be built over the Green Line on private Palestinian land belonging to residents of Umm Tuba. These lands will likely be expropriated. Despite the probable expropriation, the plan does not offer any development for the remaining privately-owned Palestinian land and will likewise not grant building rights to Palestinian landowners for areas alongside the road not intended for expropriation. 

As part of measures to reduce poverty in East Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Municipality along with the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs initiated a plan two years ago for the establishment of a major Palestinian business center for this precise area, but was shelved due to strong rightwing pushback. The Israel Land Authority now intends to expropriate the area to serve the new Israeli neighborhood.

Not only is this yet another example of severe planning discrimination, but construction of this new neighborhood will serve to further create Israeli territorial contiguity along East Jerusalem's southern perimeter while depleting more land reserves for Palestinian development.
TPS 808840 (including the area designated for housing units and the access road) is marked in blue. The white broken line is the Green Line.
 
In parallel to the abovementioned plan, three new outline plans for a total of 2237 housing units are being advanced in the area of French Hill and the premises of Hebrew University's Mount Scopus campus (see map below). While some of the plans' areas are within the boundaries of the Israeli Mount Scopus enclave, most of the housing units are designated for land beyond the Green Line. Although two of the plans are allocated for areas where university dormitories are currently located, they are not designated for the expansion of student housing, but rather residential buildings.

2. TPS 890442 (Bronfman Dormitory Complex area) – calls for the construction of 672 housing units on an area of 24 dunams beyond the Green Line. It should be noted that the plan encircles a Palestinian residential area, yet its boundaries were drawn up in a way which deliberately excludes the Palestinian area and leaves it as an enclave surrounded by a planned new Israeli settlement. As such, the plan will greatly increase the construction in areas marked as Israeli, while blocking any further development of the Palestinian neighborhood.  

3. TPS 896225 (Lerner Complex & Lower Resnik Dormitory area) – calls for the construction of 1027 housing units on 99 dunams of land. The majority of the plan is designated for an area located beyond the Green Line and currently houses facilities belonging to the Hebrew University. It is not yet clear how the Hebrew University is involved in promoting the construction of a new Israeli residential area outside the Green Line.  

4. TPS 890426 calls for the construction of 528 housing units on 15 dunams of land located just north of Jerusalem British War Cemetery. The Green Line runs directly in the middle of the area designated for the plan.

Beyond the geopolitical implications of constructing more housing units over the Green Line in Jerusalem, these plans are yet another example of the acute housing discrimination facing East Jerusalem Palestinians. These four plans follow close on the heels of other major housing projects advanced for Israelis in East Jerusalem over the course of 2021. The Israeli authorities continue to promote plans at full force for thousands of housing units for Israelis, while systemically refraining from advancing plans for Palestinians to meet their severe housing needs.

TPS 890442 is the located towards the upper left corner underneath the French Hill label with the excluded Palestinian residential area marked within.
TPS 896225 is the large area marked towards the southern part of the map. TPS 890426 is the smaller area marked in the northern part of the map.
The Green Line is marked by the faint broken white line.
Please address all inquiries to:

Amy Cohen
Director of International Relations & Advocacy
Ir Amim (City of Nations/City of Peoples)
Jerusalem
amy@ir-amim.org.il
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