Last week (January 5), the Israel Land Authority published a tender (18/2022) for the construction of 300 housing units along the southeastern flank of East Talpiyot (Armon Hanatziv) located beyond the Green Line. The outline plans (TPS 7977, 7977A) were approved almost two decades ago in 2005. Construction of the new units would expand the built-up area of the settlement/neighborhood towards Sur Baher, a Palestinian neighborhood with longstanding significant housing and development needs. The tender is slated to open for bidding on February 14, 2022.
Alongside publication of the tender for East Talpiyot, the Jerusalem District Planning Committee will be holding a session tomorrow (January 10) on two outline plans designated for urban renewal in the settlement of Gilo. Together the plans call for the construction of a total of 2008 housing units, constituting an increase of 1538 units to the existing figure.
While the plans will not necessarily enlarge Gilo territorially, it will increase the Israeli population in the settlement and hence the number of Israelis living in East Jerusalem.
These developments should be seen in the context of major acceleration of construction plans beyond the Green Line in Jerusalem, which has taken place over the past six months. Just last week, plans were advanced by the Jerusalem Local Planning Committee for the area of French Hill/Mount Scopus and the space between Har Homa and Givat Hamatos ("The Lower Aqueduct Complex plan"), all of which are scheduled to go before the District Planning Committee on January 17.
Beyond further consolidation of Israeli control of East Jerusalem and continued erosion of any negotiated political future for the city, these plans are yet another stark indicator of the breadth and depth of discrimination in the city's planning and building policy. Rather than utilizing the limited open land in East Jerusalem to rectify the longstanding under-development and neglect of Palestinian neighborhoods, the Israeli authorities instead consistently promote more plans for new Israeli settlements.