A plan for 30 new housing units in Ras El-Amud was deposited last week (23/6/11) for public review (Plan No. 12259). There are 60 days for the public to submit objections to the plan, after which the regional committee for planing will discuss the objections and approve or reject the plan. The next step, after the objections, will be the final approval and the validation of the plan, and then the initiator can apply for a construction permit from the municipality and start the construction.
The plan is located on the main road of Ras El-Amud, the Jericho Road, approx. 50 meters away from the existing settlement compound (the old police station). If approved, the plan will allow the settlers to expand dramatically their presence in the heart of the Palestinian neighborhood. Adding another 30 units, means another 30 families (approx. 120-150 people) – more guards, more infrastructure, more public transportation for the settlers, and a change of the public domain and of the character of the neighborhood.
According to reports in the media, the owner of the land and the initiator of the plan is a settler from the settlement of Givat Ze’ev, who reportedly wants to sell the property and the rights for the construction. The settlers will probably do their at most not to miss the opportunity, and unless there will be an irresistible offer by Palestinians (i.e. a lot of money) – the compound will become another settlement which will make a compromise in Jerusalem much harder.