Government markets 1,000 apartments beyond Green Line 19Dec11 December 19, 2011

YNet News  -  18 December 2011

Hundreds of housing units will be marketed beyond the Green Line as part of tenders published by the Construction and Housing Ministry and the IsraelLand Administration on Sunday.  

 Among the housing units, 348 will be built in the hraedi town of Beitar illit, 500 in Har Homa in south Jerusalem and 180 in Givat Ze’ev.

Previous announcements of construction beyond the 1967 lines prompted outrage by the Palestinians, the US, Europe and the UN.

 “Some countries won’t be pleased with this (tenders), but they won’t be surprised,” said Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias (Shas). “The decision was reached last month after the Palestinians were accepted into UNESCO, and the right thing to do was to alleviate the shortage of housing units designated for young couples in Israel – with an emphasis on the capital, Jerusalem.

 Also Sunday, the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs rejected a bill which retroactively legalizes outposts built on Palestinian land.

MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi), who initiated the bill, said it would eventually be passed. “I have experience in legislation, and I know it will pass. I also know that due to political considerations outposts will not be evacuated during while this government is in power – because it wants to complete its term, and we will not be part of a government that evacuates (West Bank) communities.”

 According to Minister Benny Begin (Likud), the ministerial committee “rejects proposals that contradict government policy and jeopardize our desire to reach compromises.”

 Deputy Attorney General Orit Koren said the proposal was “problematic” from a legal sense, but according to Minister Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz (Habayit Hayehudi), who voted for the bill, it was based on “Hebrew law.”

 Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said he will not be able to defend the bill at the High Court of Justice. The Prime Minister’s Office said Sunday that the government’s policy aims to reach a dialogue as part of negotiations so that some of the illegal outposts will be moved to state lands.

 Negotiations are currently being held with residents of Ramat Gilad, sources in the prime minister’s bureau said. They however added that should talks failed “we can expect to see what happened in Mitzpe Yitzhar” last week.

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