Givat Hamatos: A Strategic Jerusalem Neighborhood

(Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) Nadav Shragai - A plan to build a Jewish residential neighborhood in Givat Hamatos (Airplane Hill) in southern Jerusalem was approved in 2014, but has been frozen for four years due to pressure from the U.S. and EU countries. The area is adjacent to a main traffic artery of west Jerusalem. Givat Hamatos is one of the last reserves of land available for building within the jurisdictional boundaries of Jerusalem. The plan envisages 2,610 housing units for the Jewish population, while in the adjacent Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa, approval has been given for 600-900 housing units. Before the Six-Day War, there were Jordanian outposts at the spot, and sometimes they fired from this hill at the Jewish neighborhoods of Talpiot and Baka. On the second day of the war, June 6, 1967, an Israeli aircraft was downed there and its pilot was killed. The incident gave the hill its name. In 1991 the site was used to house Ethiopian immigrants and contained 400 trailers, most of which have been removed. Also at the site are relics from the Second Temple period. One of the main reasons for the decline in Jerusalem's Jewish majority is that many Jews have left the city due to a severe shortage of apartments. Over the past 25 years, more than 400,000 Jews have left Jerusalem, while only 250,000 have come to live in it. The writer, a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center, is a journalist and commentator who has documented the dispute over Jerusalem for 30 years.

2018-01-05 00:00:00

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