J´lem construction frozen ahead of PM´s US visit (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Ofer Petersberg Published: 02.24.12, 16:04)
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Netanyahu said to be trying to avoid any move that might anger US in
light of previous embarrassing incidents during Biden´s visit to
Days before he takes off for Washington DC, Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu is seeking to ensure that there are no causes for
embarrassment when he is sitting with Obama in the Oval Office.
The prime minister has instructed the Housing Ministry to freeze
major building tenders in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the 67
borders, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday. At this stage there are
1,575 units on the market – 950 in Gilo and 625 in Pisgat Ze´ev.
In addition, the Interior Ministry´s planning commissions have been
instructed not to carry out any "surprise" moves in the near future
and entrepreneurs who have submitted construction plans for Jerusalem
neighborhoods outside the 67 border were surprised to hear that for
now at least, their meetings have been postponed "for political
Netanyahu is trying to avoid making any Israeli move that might anger
the US government during his stay in Washington – in light of the
previous embarrassing incidents chief among them – the approval of a
construction plan for 1,600 apartments in Ramat Shlomo during US Vice
President Jo Biden´s visit in Israel.
On Wednesday, the US State Department said that Israel´s settlement
activity was not "constructive" for Middle East peace after a
committee approved a plan for 500 new homes in the northern West
Earlier, Israel´s Civil Administration approved the construction of
505 new housing units and legalized 190 units previously built in the
West Bank settlement of Shilo.
A Defense Ministry official said that any further construction would
call for the government´s approval and therefore they do not expect
any other units to be built anytime soon. The ministry also stated
that the existing housing units were not built on private lands but
rather on State-owned land.
The Prime Minister´s Office did not wish to comment on the matter.
(Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 02/24/12)
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