A plan to build 176 housing units in east Yerushalayim, thereby tripling the Jewish population in the area, is under consideration in the municipality and has been condemned by the leftist NGO Peace Now.
The plan will reportedly come before the Yerushalayim Planning and Building Committee for discussion on Sunday, even though it was not placed on the official agenda, perhaps with a view to avoiding publicity about a controversial move.
The neighborhood which stands to gain is Nof Tzion, in the Arab neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, south of the Old City and just inside the Green Line. Currently, there are 91 housing units in the neighborhood.
Peace Now issued a statement denouncing the idea as prejudicial to a peace agreement with the Palestinians:
“Building a large settlement in the heart of a Palestinian neighborhood would constitute a severe blow to Yerushalayim and to the chance to arrive at a two-state solution. This is not a matter of real estate but a matter of politics and sovereignty, as the Israelis moving to homes inside Palestinian neighborhoods are motivated solely by ideology, and are trying to prevent a future compromise in Yerushalayim.”