Netanyahu recommends advancement of construction of 1,000 housing units in Har Homa and Ramat Shlomo

A Palestinian flag flutters in front of a Jewish settlement near Jerusalem

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly recommended that plans be advanced for the construction of about 1,000 housing units in Har Homa, in the southeast of Jerusalem, and 660 homes in Ramat Shlomo, in the northeast corner of the Israeli capital.

Netanyahu will also push new infrastructure projects in the West Bank, including roads that will also serve the Palestinian population, said a PMO source quoted by The Times of Israel.

Netanyahu’s new Jerusalem building plans come ahead of a meeting Tuesday in which the regional planning committee for Jerusalem is expected to approve 1,600 new apartments in Ramat Shlomo as part of an earlier plan that was temporarily halted at the request of the US after its announcement sparked a major controversy following the UN General Assembly’s recognition of Palestine as an independent state in 2012.

In early October, Washington levelled especially harsh criticism at Jerusalem for a plan to develop a new neighbourhood in the area of Givat Hamatos, saying the East Jerusalem construction would “poison the atmosphere” and distance Israel “from even its closest allies.”

On Sunday, Finance Minister Yair Lapid warned that the reported plan for a major new West Bank development project could further sour ties with the US, and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said the move was irresponsible.

In another development, A 22-year-old woman became the second victim to die as a result of last week’s terror attack in Jerusalem, which saw a local Hamas-linked Palestinian resident ram a car into a crowd of commuters.

Karen Yemima Mosquera, an Ecuadorian national, was a student who had been living in Israel for the past year and was in the process of converting to Judaism. She was buried on the Mount of Olives last night after her family were flown to Israel.

Mosquera was one of a group of passengers waiting at a Jerusalem light railway station when Abed a-Rahman a-Shaludi ploughed his car into them. Three-month-old Haya Zissel Baron was also killed in the attack at the Ammunition Hill junction. The attacker was shot and killed as he attempted to escape the scene.

A-Shaludi, who had previously served a 16-month prison sentence for throwing Molotov cocktails at Jewish residents in the Silwan neighbourhood, was also buried last night. Israeli authorities restricted the number of mourners, fearing the funeral could become a flashpoint. Instead, rocks were thrown at police officers in Silwan, who were also attacked with Molotov cocktails in Beit Hanina. There were also disturbances in the neighbourhoods of A-Tur, Shuafat and Issawiya, with Israeli police making 20 arrests. Low-level violence has simmered in Jerusalem ever since major clashes occurred in July, in the wake of the murder of a 16-year-old local Palestinian in an act of revenge for the murder of three Israeli teenagers whose bodies were discovered the previous week.

At the start of his weekly cabinet meeting on Monday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “We will not allow the reality in the city [Jerusalem] to become such that people lob stones, throw firebombs and disturb public order.” Last week, Netanyahu ordered that an additional Border Police company be deployed.

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