Plan to build 900 apartments in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood approved

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A plan to build nearly 900 apartments in the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem was approved on the eve of scheduled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

The final approval by the Interior Ministry came late Monday. The plan must next go to the Housing Ministry and the Israel Lands Administration for approval.

Gilo is located in the south of Jerusalem, but is located over the Green Line that demarcates the 1967 borders, which is considered eastern Jerusalem.

The plan was approved by the ministry’s regional planning and building committee in December, according to Haaretz, but ministry approval was delayed by changes to the plan.

Monday’s announcement came a day after the announcement that Israel would issue tenders for construction companies to build 1,200 apartments in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

Palestinian negotiators have threatened to boycott the opening of the first new peace negotiations in three years, scheduled for Wednesday in Jerusalem, over the issue of the new settlement construction announcements.