Prime Minister Binyami Netanyahu announced Thursday that some 4,000 new apartments would be built in Yerushalayim – 2,200 of them in Har Homa, and an additional 800 in Givat Hamatos, located between Gilo and Har Homa. Another 1,000 will be built for Arabs in the village of Beit Safafa, located nearby.
While Har Homa has seen massive construction, Israel has been unable to build any permanent structures in Givat Hamatos, due to American and European opposition. The area in the past was home to caravan villages for Russian and Ethiopian immigrants.
On Thursday, the government authorized construction at the site, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu calling it a “dramatic development.”
“This is true coexistence in Yerushalayim,” Netanyahu said, referring to the construction in both Arab and Jewish neighborhoods. “I established Har Homa when I was first prime minister in 1997, against the wishes of the entire world, and I am happy to see it expand. For years, governments opposed building there and in Givat Hamatos, and now we are building there,” he said.