Latest Developments

 

11/06/2012 Back To List
Settlement Surge Continues on Jerusalem's Southern Flank

The surge in settlement schemes on Jerusalem’s southern flank, which threatens to create a buffer between East Jerusalem and the southern West Bank, is proceeding rapidly.
 

Gilo Expansion Plans

 
2500 New Units for Gilo (Ahuzat Nof):  Last week it was reported in the Palestinian press, and subse
quently in the Israeli and international press, that Israel is planning to approve as many as 2500 new units in the East Jerusalem settlement of Gilo.   The site in question is located beyond the expropriation line of Gilo, on land that is privately owned by both Palestinians and Israelis.  It is located between the southern edge of Gilo and Route 60, the tunnel road that leads to the Etzion settlement bloc.  A private developer prepared a conceptual plan for the construction of 2500 units on the site, drafted by a reputable town planner.  On May 30, 2012, this plan was brought last week, as a conceptual plan, to the Municipality.  The Jerusalem Municipal planning board decided that the Jerusalem Municipality will indeed be an official sponsor of the plan and took a decision to plan the area in question. With this decided, a planning file can be opened, a number assigned to the plan and the statutory process can commence.  However, as of this writing no planning file has yet been opened, nor has any statutory approval taken place. The plan for this massive new construction in Gilo has been dubbed Ahuzat Nof. 
 
Mordot Gilo South:  On May 10, 2012, Town Plan 13261 (map), for construction in an area adjacent to the settlement of Gilo, in a development to be called “Mordot Gilo” (translation: “Gilo Slopes”), was published for public review.  As we reported at the time, this plan was approved for public review on September 27, 2011 but had lain dormant since then.  The plan provides for large-scale construction on the southwest slopes of the settlement of Gilo, between the current footprint of the settlement of Gilo and the Palestinian area of Beit Jala/Walajeh. The plan is built largely on lands expropriated by Israel in 1970, but also includes privately owned land (owned largely by Israelis, but also by Palestinians) beyond the expropriation line. All of the plan extends beyond the existing built-up footprint of Gilo. Due to the complex land ownership issues involved, it was decided that the expansion would take place in stages. After some initial lack of clarity regarding the numbers, the statutory documents now reveal that the initial construction will entail 942 units, with an additional 300 units to be constructed once certain property issues are resolved on the lands beyond the expropriation line. 
 
Mordot Gilo West:  This is Town Plan 13157, which some observers may recall as the infamous Gilo expansion plan that was in the headlines in November 2009.  At that time the plan was deposited for public review, just as top Netanyahu advisor Yitzhik Molcho was meeting with then-Special Envoy George Mitchell.  At the time, Israel tried to deflect international criticism by claiming that this was a technical move and the actual approval of the plan was years away. Those years have now passed.  Back in July 2011, Plan 13157 was approved by the Municipality in anticipation of Regional Planning Committee deliberations to approve the deposit of the plan for public review.  Plan 13157 provides for the construction of 850-900 units immediately to the north of the construction approved under Plan 13261 (map).  On May 22, deliberations were held on the objections to the plan by the Regional Planning Board. Of the hundreds of objections filed against TP 13157, none challenged the political wisdom of the plan; rather, they were filed by irate Gilo residents on environmental grounds. Nonetheless, the outcome appears to be a foregone conclusion and the final approval of the plan is expected imminently.
 
All three of these Gilo expansion plans, if implemented, will significantly complicate final status arrangements in Jerusalem.  These plans are not merely about expanding construction inside an existing settlement.  They are about significantly expanding the settlement in the direction of the neighboring West Bank towns.  In doing so, they will make any future border arrangements more difficult.
 
New Construction inside Gilo:  On December 28, 2011, the Jerusalem Municipal  Planning Committee approved Town Plan 13290, for 100-130 housing units in Gilo (here and here). TP 13290 was also on the agenda of the Jerusalem District Planning committee for May 22, 2012, and its approval is expected shortly. Unlike the Mordot Gilo Plans, this plan is within the existing built-up contours of Gilo.
 

Givat Hamatos

 
Givat Hamatos A:  In May 2012, three consecutive days of intense hearings were held regarding Plan 14295, Givat Hamatos A.  The hearings were held to consider the objections by an external investigator. There were 15 objections all together, and they were all heard. The plan, as previously noted, is sponsored by the Israel Lands Authority but its approval falls under the exclusive authority of the Jerusalem Municipality.  Final approval is expected at anytime.  This means that tenders for a total of 2610 units are possible, and even likely, in the second half of 2012.  For previous reporting on Givat Hamatos A, see here.
 
Givat Hamatos D:  As we reported previously, on April 19th, Plan 5834D (Givat Hamatos D) was deposited for public review. This plan provides for the construction of 1100 hotel rooms and a public building.  It took the media a few days to catch up with these developments, and the deposit of the plan subsequently received a great deal of press attention in early May and was denounced by the Palestinians, Peace Now,  Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt.
 
As we have noted previously, Givat Hamatos is not just another settlement. It is a game-changer, representing a mini-E-1 on Jerusalem’s southern flank. If constructed, it will be devastating to the viability of the two-state solution in Jerusalem (and, thus, the two-state solution in general). See also this reporting from Reuters: Jerusalem expansion reaches point of no return
 

Har Homa

 
As we reported previously, on April 4, 2012, the Israel Lands Authority (ILA) and the Ministry of Construction published four tenders for 72 units in Har Homa B (one tender for 22 units and a second for 50 units, both within Town Plan 7509).  The ILA also published a tender for 4 commercial buildings in Har Homa B (Town Plan 7509). (All the tenders are dated April 3rd, but were published on April 4th).   On that same day, they also published tenders for 800 units in Har Homa C (one tender for 632 units and a second tender for 168 units, both as part of Town Plan 10310).   (These tenders are also dated April 3rd, but were published on April 4th).   All of these tenders are significant, but the Har Homa C tenders are especially so, given that this will be the first construction in Har Homa C.  As we have written previously, the Har Homa C plan involves construction that is, in it entirety, beyond the existing built-up area of the Har Homa settlement, significantly expanding the footprint of the settlement into a new area in the direction of Bethlehem/Beit Sahour.  In doing so, this construction will make a permanent status agreement on Jerusalem incrementally more difficult.   A map showing the Har Homa C construction can be viewed/downloaded here.
 

Analysis

 
Advancement if all of these plans could not be taking place without the knowledge and approval of the Netanyahu government, including the Prime Minister’s Office.  Such an approval is unsurprising, given the ongoing, unprecedented surge in settlement activity taking place in East Jerusalem. This surge characterized all of 2011, was briefly put in check during the first quarter of 2012 and then came back with a vengeance at the beginning of April 2012 (as reported here). 
 
Looking at all of the developments of the past 18 months or so on the map, it is clear that none of what we are seeing is random.  There is an unmistakable (and at this point extremely predictable) pattern of activity taking place in East Jerusalem, with particular focus on settlement activity on the city’s southern flank.  These settlement plans (including Gilo, Givat Hamatos, and Har Homa), if implemented, collectively will make the two-state solution in Jerusalem impossible unless Israel is prepared to take the as-yet unimagined step of removing Israelis from large government-backed settlements in East Jerusalem.

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30/11/2016 Plan to Connect Tel Aviv to the Western Wall

 


30/11/2016 2016 Jewish High Holidays: Record number of Jewish visitors on Temple Mount/Haram El Sharif

 


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28/11/2016 Ban on Mosque Morning Call to Prayer

 


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28/11/2016 Approval of 500 units in Ramat Shlomo

 


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5/8/2016 Israeli Govt: "The Mt of Olives will be Reinforced as a Visitors' Site"

 


5/8/2016 Ma'ale Adumim Annexation bill

 


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3/6/2016 Proposed Annexation of Maale Adumim

 


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2/6/2016 Keeping a Close Eye on the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif

 


22/1/2016 Church Attacked (Again) in Jerusalem

 


22/1/2016 Herzog proposes De-Annexing Some Parts of East Jerusalem

 


30/12/2015 Revealed in Newly-Released Documents: Massive Planning Advancing for Settlements

 


29/12/2015 Understanding "Status Quo" on the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif

 


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9/11/2015 What's Going On? Senior IDF Officials Weigh In.

 


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9/11/2015 East Jerusalem Security Situation - by the numbers

 


9/11/2015 EJ Security Situation - Plans to Revoke Palestinians' Residency?

 


9/11/2015 EJ Security Situation - Security Measures on the Ground

 


9/11/2015 EJ Security Situation - Home Demolitions

 


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13/8/2015 Imminent New Settlement Enclave in Silwan

 


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13/8/2015 Troubling Developments on the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif

 


22/5/2015 What We Can Learn from Jerusalem Day 2015

 


22/5/2015 Latest Settlement Tenders in East Jerusalem - Ramat Shlomo & Givat Zeev

 


22/5/2015 ?E-1 Looming

 


22/5/2015 East Jerusalem Simmers

 


29/4/2015 New & Recycled East Jerusalem Settlement Tenders

 


29/4/2015 High Court Rules on Absentee Property Law in Jerusalem

 


29/4/2015 Good News: IDF Colleges NOT Moving to Mount of Olives; Holy Basin Cable Car Plan Stalled

 


29/4/2015 Approval (but only sort of) of New Palestinian Construction in East Jerusalem

 


29/4/2015 Some Palestinian Cars Allowed in East Jerusalem

 


29/4/2015 Palestinian Security Forces (not really) allowed in East Jerusalem

 


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3/11/2014 Bibi's New Settlement Initiative - Ramat Shlomo & Har Homa

 


3/11/2014 More Settler Takeovers in Another Part of Silwan

 


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17/9/2014 East Jerusalem Clashes Continue

 


9/9/2014 East Jerusalem Aflame

 


4/9/2014 The Real Story about those new units "approved" for Palestinians in East Jerusalem

 


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5/3/2014 Framework Language and Jerusalem: Gimmicks Are NOT the Answer

 


5/3/2014 New Israeli Yeshiva Approved...in Downtown Sheikh Jarrah

 


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5/3/2014 Playing with Fire, Part 1: Debating the Status Quo on the Temple Mount

 


3/3/2014 Demolition orders in E-1

 


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12/12/2013 The [Apparent] Re-Emergence of the “Greater Jerusalem” Gimmick

 


12/12/2013 Post-Script: Those Planning Tenders for 24,000 New Settlement Units

 


27/8/2013 Ramat Shlomo Back in the Headlines

 


27/8/2013 Funding Approved for Settler-Run Projects in Silwan and Jebel Mukabber

 


27/8/2013 Three Palestinians Killed by Israeli Forces in Qalandia RC

 


27/8/2013 ?Uptick in East Jerusalem Home Demolitions

 


19/8/2013 Pyromaniacs Target the Temple Mount

 


19/8/2013 Jerusalem Residency Concerns Resurface

 


19/8/2013 New Pro-Settlement Guidelines on Absentee Property Law

 


19/8/2013 A U.S. Court Rules on Jerusalem

 


16/8/2013 Timeline/details of Recent Jerusalem-Related Settlement Developments

 


16/8/2013 Bibi, Settlements & Peace Talks -- Analysis

 


13/6/2013 The A-Zayyem/Mount of Olives Interchange, Plan 14049

 


13/6/2013 Tenders Awarded for Ramot Expansion, Additional Tenders for Mordot Gilo

 


13/6/2013 Everything You Need to Know About Jerusalem & the Absentee Property Law

 


7/5/2013 The IDF Colleges on the Mt. of Olives Off the Agenda, Again

 


7/5/2013 Plans Published for Old City Cable Car

 


7/5/2013 Sharansky Plan Hits a Wall, no pun intended

 


7/5/2013 The Wall/Barrier vs. Cremisan & Beit Jala

 


5/5/2013 Spatial Shaping in J'lem Continues with Opening of Route 20

 


24/4/2013 Concerns about Proposed “Solution” to Women’s Prayer Issue at the Western Wall

 


22/4/2013 The Politics of Waste Treatment in East Jerusalem

 


15/4/2013 Fifty New Units in East Talpiot

 


14/1/2013 E-1/Bab ash-Shams: What Happened, What it Means, What Next

 


28/12/2012 Mordot Gilo South - APPROVED

 


19/12/2012 Givat Hamatos APPROVED - What it Means

 


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6/11/2012 More than 1200 New Tenders Issued for Pisgat Ze'ev and Ramot

 


31/10/2012 New Construction Approved in Har Homa

 


30/10/2012 New East Jerusalem Settlement Construction Approved - East Talpiot units for Israeli Security Personnel

 


24/10/2012 Mordot Gilo Construction Approved

 


24/10/2012 Plans for IDF Colleges on Mt. of Olives Deposited for Public Review & Explanation of Location

 


24/10/2012 Taking the Garbage to East Jerusalem

 


24/10/2012 Is the Palestinian Population of East Jerusalem Becoming More Israeli -- No

 


24/10/2012 Pisgat Zeev in the News

 


18/10/2012 Crisis Brewing on the Temple Mount

 


17/9/2012 Jerusalem, Netanyahu and the two-state solution

 


16/9/2012 Issue to watch: East Jerusalem Home Demolitions

 


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16/9/2012 Jerusalem in the Headlines: Ras al-Amud, Temple Mount, the Barrier, Elad, & Har Homa

 


15/9/2012 Jerusalem: Political Football in U.S. Presidential Race

 


14/9/2012 In Memorium: Our Friend, Chris Stevens

 


2/7/2012 New Tenders Published for East Jerusalem Settlement Construction

 


2/7/2012 Plans for New IDF War College on the Mt. of Olives Approved for Public Review

 


11/6/2012 Settlement Surge Continues on Jerusalem's Southern Flank

 


8/5/2012 Arab VIPs Start Coming to Jerusalem

 


7/5/2012 Givat Hamatos – Nearing the Point-of-No-Return

 


7/5/2012 IDF College on the Mt. of Olives – Moving Forward

 


7/5/2012 Kidmat Tzion – Municipal Approval Anticipated Soon

 


7/5/2012 Mughrabi Ramp – Some Good News

 


6/5/2012 Beit Hanina Settlement Effort Continues

 


10/4/2012 Late Winter Freeze in East Jerusalem turns to Spring Thaw

 


8/4/2012 Kidmat Tziyon Settlement Scheme to be Expedited

 


8/4/2012 New East Jerusalem “Park” Soon to get Final Approval

 


8/4/2012 New Settlement in Beit Hanina?

 


8/4/2012 Israeli High Court Rejects Shepherd’s Hotel Appeal

 


14/3/2012 Will Arab & Muslim Leaders Start Coming to Jerusalem?


 


14/3/2012 A Major East Jerusalem Settlement Plan Comes Back to Life

 


14/3/2012 Spotlight on Jewish Access to the Temple Mount

 


14/3/2012 Volatility in Silwan: Mini-Intifada Continues, Cave-Ins, and New Settler Plans

 


9/1/2012 The Ongoing Settlement Surge in East Jerusalem

 


9/1/2012 The Mughrabi Gate Saga - Update

 


10/12/2011 Barkat Tries to Force Mughrabi Ramp Demolition

 


9/12/2011 Approval of Mount Scopus "Park" Proceeds

 


13/10/2011 Approval for New Israeli Settlement at Givat Hamatos Proceeds

 


12/10/2011 New Pisgat Ze'ev Building Permits

 


28/9/2011 New Settlement Approval issued for Gilo - Plan 13261

 


11/8/2011 More Jerusalem Settlement Approvals: Ramat Shlomo, Pisgat Zeev, Givat Hamatos

 


10/8/2011 Yet Another Har Homa Plan Approved (No. 12825) - Public Buildings, 50 Units

 


5/8/2011 Har Homa C Plan 10310 (app. 983 units) Approved

 


9/7/2011 Jerusalem Municipal "Approval" of Mordot Gilo Plan

 


9/7/2011 Meretz Rejoins Municipal Coalition - Separate Portfolios for EJ Settlers and Palestinians

 


20/6/2011 The Ramat Shlomo House Extension Plans

 


10/6/2011 Committee for Acceleration of (EJ) Construction to Convene on June 14

 


24/5/2011 Netanyahu Approves East Jerusalem Construction Hours Before Obama Address

 


24/5/2011 Barkat Trying to Force Netanyahu's Hand on Mughrabi Ramp

 


12/5/2011 The Non-Existent Court Decision on Bustan Demolitions

 


10/5/2011 New East Jerusalem Settlements Update

 


9/5/2011 US Supreme Court to Hear Jerusalem Status Case

 


21/4/2011 Is There a De Facto Settlement Freeze in East Jerusalem? The Facts

 


18/4/2011 April Surge in East Jerusalem Construction Plans

 


18/4/2011 Mount Scopus Slopes Park Approved for Public Review

 


16/3/2011 Permit Issued for 14 Units at Ras el Amud Police Station

 


16/3/2011 Permit Issued for Mughrabi Ramp

 

29/7/2013 A Layman's Guide to Jerusalem House Demolitions
Daniel Seidemann

 


29/7/2013 A Laymen's Guide to the Planning Process in Jerusalem.pdf
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20/3/2013 "Spatial Shaping", the Ross Agenda and a Partial Settlement Freeze
Daniel Seidmann

 


10/3/2013 Spatial Shaping - Unilaterally Determining Israel’s Base-Line Border
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10/9/2012 NOREF Policy Brief August 2012 | By Daniel Seidemann
Daniel Seidemann

 


30/1/2012 East Jerusalem and the Imminent Demise of the Two-State Solution
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7/11/2011 East Jerusalem Developments and Trends: 2006-2011
Daniel Seidemann

 


31/10/2011 The TJ Guide to the Planning and Construction Process in East Jerusalem - Oct. 2011
Daniel Seidemann

 


15/10/2011 Givat Hamatos/Mordot Gilo: New Settlement Schemes on Jerusalem's Southern Flank
Daniel Seidemann

 


12/8/2011 U.S. (non)-Recognition of Sovereignty in Jerusalem: A Consistent Policy, 1948 - 2011
Lara Friedman

 


1/8/2011 Hanging On By Our Fingernails
Daniel Seidemann

 


22/2/2011 Jerusalem Challenges the API
Daniel Seidemann

 


21/2/2011 East Jerusalem settlers and Israel's never-ending War of Independence
Daniel Seidemann

 


20/2/2011 The Two Jerusalems
D. Seidemann D.Rothem

 


19/2/2011 Jerusalem on the Brink
Daniel Seidemann

 


19/2/2011 A barely tolerated minority
Daniel Seidemann

 


17/2/2011 Redeeming Jerusalem by truth, not hollow slogans
Daniel Seidemann

 


16/2/2011 Jerusalem, settlements, and the "everybody knows" fallacy
Lara Friedman - Daniel Seidemann

 


15/2/2011 Blogposts
Lara Friedman
 
 
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