|On Monday, November 23, the District Planning Committee is slated to discuss for a second time the detailed outline plan (TPS 285411) for 570 housing units in the northwestern part of Har Homa E (also known as Har Homa West).
The plan's location is situated close to the plot of land in Givat Hamatos designated in the tender for 1257 housing units, which opened on Sunday, November 15.
TPS 285411 was previously discussed at the District Committee on September 22, where the committee expressed support for depositing the plan on the condition that a number of amendments would be made. Next week's scheduled discussion is likely for the purpose of examining these modifications and thereafter approving the plan for deposit.
The rapid advancement of this plan is indicative of the Israeli government's intent to accelerate as many settlement construction projects as possible in East Jerusalem and its vicinity in the waning days of the Trump administration.
The plot of land for TPS28411 is located within the area of Har Homa E where the master plan for 2200 housing units was approved in late May. Since master plans do not enable the issuance of building permits, detailed outline plans for various portions within the master plan are required. TPS 285411 is therefore the first detailed outline plan in this area to be advanced.
If TPS 285411 is indeed approved for deposit, it is likely that the District Committee will rush to deposit the plan before the change in the US administration on January 20, 2021.
Along with Givat Hamatos, construction in Har Homa E will serve as another step in connecting the existing Har Homa and Gilo neighborhoods/ settlements to create a complete Israeli built-up area along the southern perimeter of East Jerusalem. This will sever Bethlehem and the southern West Bank from East Jerusalem while isolating the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa. If carried out, these measures will constitute a major obstacle towards the future establishment of a contiguous independent Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem.
As demonstrated by the swift developments in plans for Givat Hamatos and Har Homa E, it is likely that Israel will continue to exploit this narrow of window of time before the US presidential inauguration to advance further measures the Biden administration will potentially oppose, including advancements in the E1 area.
Concerted opposition and pressure to halt these moves are therefore vital in this critical period.