Israeli rightists intend further building in Palestinian corridor
Right-wing Israeli activists are planning to build 60 new apartments in a Jewish enclave in East Jerusalem, the Israeli Ha’aretz daily reported Tuesday.
The Jerusalem municipality has approved the private initiative, the daily revealed.
Though the enclave in Ma’aleh Zeitim on the Mount of Olives was privately owned by Jews for at least a century and already houses 51 Jewish families, Palestinians have requested its non-built-up area for the creation of a corridor between the eastern West Bank and the Old City’s Muslim quarter, Ha’aretz said.
It said that construction of the apartments would impede this.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s spokesman, Mark Regev, was not immediately available for comment.
In the past however he said that under a partial Israeli freeze on construction beyond the “green line” separating Israel from the West Bank, all plans need the specific approval of the premier.
As part of the partial freeze, Israel has pledged not to outwardly expand existing Jewish settlements.
But it will continue building within settlement blocs that it plans to keep as part of any final peace deal.
Israel has also insisted that it will continue building on occupied West Bank land in southern and east of Jerusalem since it is apparently an “integral” and “indivisible” parts of the city.
The Israeli Ma’ariv daily reported earlier Monday that right-wing groups also managed to purchase a plot of land between Bethlehem and southern Jerusalem, where they want to build a small Jewish neighbourhood.
It was also not immediately clear whether that plan would receive the approval of Olmert.