A Fast Track to Approve More Plans in East Jerusalem

Today, 10/12/12, the Jerusalem Regional Committee for Planning and Construction will nominate a representative for a special committee which is called: “a Committee for Completion of Plans”. The committee is comprised of three members: a representative of the Minister of Interior, a representative of the Regional Committee for Planning and a representative of the Local Committee for Planning.  This committee is only established in rare occasions, and it is meant to promote plans that are “stuck” in the pipeline for too long. Specifically the committee that is being nominated today should discuss several of the most politically disputed plans in East Jerusalem, mainly: the Ramat Shlomo plan (for 1,600 units), Givat Hamatos B, C and D, and Hashalom Forest.

A member of the Jerusalem Regional Committee for Planing told me that it is the first time in at least 8 years that a Committee for Completion of Plans is established in the Jerusalem district. It seems to me that there are forces within the Government that are trying to push forward as many plans as possible in East Jerusalem before the election in Israel in order to set as many facts on the ground before any political change takes place, and are using this rare committee in order to do so.

The plans that will move to the authority of the Committee for Completion of Plans (what i call “the fast track committee”) are:

Plan no. 11085 – for 1,600 units in Ramat Shlomo (the famous plan from the Beiden visit)
Plans no. 5834B, 5834C and 5834Dfor Givat Hamatos
Plan no. 10188 – for Hashalom forest (where the settlers have a visitors center and makes many controversial touristic activities)
Plan No. 11382 – for 57 units in Gilo
and another two small plans in West Jerusalem.

Last Week, the Ha’aretz newspaper published that the “fast track” committee will convene next week to hear the objections to the plan in Ramat Shlomo and to the Givat Hamatos plan. I don’t know whether there is already a date for the hearings of the other plans. However, it seems that there is a strategic effort by the Netanyahu government to set as many facts on ground as possible (such as the promotion of the E1 plan and the declaration on 3000 tenders) before any change in the political atmosphere takes place. Those facts on the ground might be lethal for the two state solution.

The Agenda for the Planning Committee on 10.12.12 – (in Hebrew)

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