Giving in to the pressure from the United States, the Israeli coalition government has made the decision to stop the east Jerusalem project of 9,000 new homes, despite the progress it had made.
First reported by The Jerusalem Post’s sister site Walla, it was then confirmed by a source to the Times of Israel that the Jewish nation informed Biden administration officials on Thursday that it has shelved a controversial plan to advance the massive housing project in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Atarot following pushback from Washington.
According to Peace Now, Israel’s Construction and Housing Committee in 2015 allocated NIS 2 million to design the Atarot project which will also include commercial centers, hotels, parks, and schools. The project is slated to be constructed on the site of the former Kalandia airport which operated from 1924 to 2000. It is located near Ramallah, between Route 443 and the Kalandia crossing. It is also located next to the security barrier and the east Jerusalem Arab neighborhood of Kafr Akab.
But the US stance on the matter is clear. Opponents of the project argue that it would hamper dwindling efforts to advance a two-state solution, by bisecting a large part of East Jerusalem, which Palestinians view as the capital of their future state. But, Bennett believes that Israel has the right to build Jewish homes anywhere in its united capital.