Jerusalem24 – The Israeli Lands Authority announced this morning that a tender for the construction of 83 housing units in a high-density residential complex in the Givat HaMatos settlement in occupied East Jerusalem has been awarded to Israeli construction company Ba’amuna, paving the way for construction to begin.
Ba’amuna has constructed housing units in a number of illegal settlements, including Ariel in the West Bank and Pisgat Ze’ev in East Jerusalem.
The new settlement units are located in Givat HaMatos, east and south of the Palestinian village of Beit Safafa. The project covers an area of about 370 dunams.
A number of 12-story buildings will be constructed, along with buildings of between four and six floors.
The tender provides that schools, kindergartens, a neighborhood community center, religious buildings, clinics, and health institutions will be built in the settlement.
The new construction plans will connect the East Jerusalem settlements of Givat HaMatos and Har Homa, and will prevent contiguity between the Palestinian villages of Beit Safafa and Sur Baher as well as cut off access for Palestinians between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Peace Now has warned that Beit Safafa would be completely “hemmed in” (with no space left for development) by Givat Hamatos as well as the new settlement project of Givat Shaked. Final approval of plans for Givat Shaked were postponed by two weeks last Monday in order to study whether the plans would have any negative environmental impacts.