The Yerushalayim Municipality has advanced plans for a 9,000-home project in Atarot, an area of the city located beyond the pre-1967 lines, the Jerusalem Post reports. The international community and the Palestinian Authority have condemned the plan, which it warns would help cement Israel’s presence in an area of the city they designated as the future capital of a Palestinian state. They have also argued that the plan would drive a wedge of Jewish housing in between already existing Palestinian neighborhoods.
The city’s local planning committee threw its support behind the project today, prior to the municipality’s District Planning Committee hearing on December 6. The project would transform the 124-hectare (301-acre) site of the former Kalandiya Airport into a new neighborhood, with parks, hotels, public buildings, commercial areas and senior housing.
Israel maintains that Yerushalayim is the united capital of the Jewish state, and that such projects provide much-needed housing and improve the overall quality of life in the capital.