Skip to main content

Jerusalem construction plan rattles Israeli government

The government of Naftali Bennett would like to shelve plans for constructing the Atarot Jerusalem neighborhood on the other side of the Green Line, yet it is facing a hard-core Jerusalem municipality that is adamant to advance the plan.
A picture shows machinery working on the tarmac of the former Atarot airport (Jerusalem International Airport), which has been closed to civilian traffic since the breakout of the second Palestinian intifada (uprising) in 2000, near the village of Qalandia between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Israel-annexed east Jerusalem on November 25, 2021.

Jerusalem’s local planning committee decided Nov. 24 to authorize an old plan to build the Atarot neighborhood in north Jerusalem. The new residential neighborhood would be located at the site of the abandoned Atarot airport, with an area of 1,243 dunams (307 acres), and would consist of 1,000 housing units, in addition to hotels, public buildings, public open land, and industrial and commercial zones. The plan also suggests creating a zone for industry and commerce adjacent to Route 45, and maintaining the historic terminal building that still stands in the area of the Atarot airport. 

This is a plan that was formulated years ago, but each time it was brought to a vote, the vote was postponed because of American opposition. The reason for the opposition is that this is territory located on the other side of the Green Line, in an area between Jerusalem and Palestinian villages. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.