Peace Now Settlement Watch: New Settlement in Sheikh Jarrah, 1,800 Housing Units in East Jerusalem to Be Discussed by Regional Committee

News from Peace Now:

In the coming weeks the Jerusalem regional planning committee will discuss new plans for East Jerusalem, in both Israeli neighbourhood settlements beyond the Green Line and within Palestinian neighbourhoods. (See a full list of plans at the bottom of the report.)

Peace Now: “ The government is brutally attempting to destroy the possibility of the two-state solution, and this time it is by establishing a new settlement at the heart of a Palestinian neighbourhood in East Jerusalem and promoting nearly 1,800 housing units beyond the Green Line. The eviction of 5 Palestinian families, which are protected tenants, in order to establish a new settlement in Sheikh Jarrah shows that nothing will get in the way of settler groups and a pro-settler government from preventing a future compromise in Jerusalem."

A. A new settlement in Sheikh Jarrah

On July 16, the Jerusalem regional planning committee is intended to discuss several plans for settlements within Palestinian neighbourhoods. Of those, 4 plans will be discussed for the Um Haroun neighbourhood (located within Sheikh Jarrah). This is the first time in recent years that new housing units are being planned for settlers within a Palestinian neighbourhood. Furthermore, two of the plans include the demolition of homes of 5 Palestinian families.

Plan 14151: A three story building for 3 housing units. Construction entails the demolition of a home of a Palestinian family.
Plan 14029: A five story building for 10 housing units. Construction entails the demolition of homes of 4 Palestinian families.
Plan 68858: A nine story (seven above ground) Yeshiva campus named, “Or Shameach” that includes student accommodation.
Plan 499699: A six story office building.

The two plans for 13 housing units in Sheikh Jarrah will be established on properties in which 5 Palestinian families currently reside. These properties are under a legal battle through which settlers seek the evacuation of these Palestinian families. Although the Palestinian families are legally regarded as protected tenants they reside in properties that prior to 1948 were Jewish owned, and the Israeli law enables Israeli citizens to return to properties that were owned by Jews prior to 1948. Hence, settlers and settler groups actively attempt to get hold of rights to Jewish owned properties from before 1948. In the cases of the five Palestinian families, the legal actions taken by settlers for their eviction have yet to be materialize. Nevertheless, the law enables landowners to destroy and restructure a new building whilst protected tenants do not lose their legal rights, hence the advancement of these plans.

Click to download the official July 16 agenda (Hebrew).

Click to read background on settlements at Sheikh Jarrah.

B. Plans for 1,788 housing units in Israeli neighbourhoods in Jerusalem beyond the Green Line

Most of the plans that will be discussed in the Jerusalem regional committee in the coming weeks are located in “open areas” within existing neighbourhoods (for full list of plans, scroll to the bottom of the report).

On July 4th, 5 plans totalling 944 housing units in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighbourhood will be discussed for depositing. This is an initiative of the Housing Ministry on lands that were confiscated by the government in the 1980s for the establishment of the neighbourhood.

On July 18th, 4 plans will be discussed for depositing totalling 800 housing units in Gilo (270), Neve Yaakov (214), Ramot (200), and Pisgat Ze’ev (116).
On July 17th, the committee will discuss objections to a plan in Gilo that adds 44 housing to an approved plan that currently enables 130 housing.

Click to download the official July 4th agenda (Hebrew).

Click to download the official July 18th agenda (Hebrew).

C. Additional plans within Palestinian neighbourhoods

On July 16th the Jerusalem regional committee will discuss further plans within Palestinian neighbourhoods:

Plan 54734: Retroactive legalization of 8 settler housing units, part of the Beit Orot settlement, at As-Swane neighbourhood.

Plan 365908: Plan for a Mikveh for a planned synagogue at Nof Zion settlement in Jabal Mukaber neighbourhood.

Full list of plans: