Yesterday channel 10 reported on infrastructure work in Givat Hamatos. Based on our information, these are soil-boring tests, done in preparation for a tender for the construction of 1,600 housing units in the area. This development connects to information we received from a reliable source at the Ministry of Housing, who indicated that the ministry is working on preparing the tender. The plan for Givat Hamatos is considered highly destructive for the viability of the future Palestinian state, as it blocks the possibility for territorial contiguity between the Palestinian neighborhoods Beit Safafa and Shurafat and East Jerusalem and Bethlehem, as well as between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem. For more information on the implications of construction in Givat Hamatos click here.
Construction in Givat Hamatos is considered a red line among many, and in the past, the promotion of the plan has led to sharp international condemnations. Exposed by Peace Now, the approval of the plan in September 2014, casted a shadow on the Obama-Netanyahu meeting in Washington. For more information click here.
From the beginning of the year, plans for 6,503 housing units were promoted and tenders for 2,858 housing units were issued for West Bank settlements (including this coming week’s promotions). In East Jerusalem, plans were promoted for 2,069 settler housing units, including inside Palestinian neighborhoods and a tender for 130 housing units was issued.
Peace Now: The preparation for a tender in Givat Hamatos, together with Netanyahu’s statements last week regarding the construction of thousands of housing units in Ma’ale Adumim with heavy hints towards E1, are all a part of the government’s effort to create a de-facto annexation and prevent the possibility for two states on the ground. Netanyahu is taking far-reaching steps, which he has thus far avoided, and by doing so he risks the two state solution and the future of Israel.