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Israeli minister advances Israeli-Palestinian airport near Jerusalem

Instead of plans for a new Jewish neighborhood across the Green Line, Meretz Minister Esawi Frej proposes to rebuild the Atarot Airport so that it serves both Israelis and Palestinians.
A general view shows a section of Israel's controversial separation wall (bottom) and machinery (L) working on the tarmac of the former Atarot Airport, Nov. 25, 2021.

Israel’s District Planning and Building Committee discussed on Dec. 6 plans proposed by the Jerusalem municipality to establish a new neighborhood, Atarot, at the site of the abandoned airport in east Jerusalem. The committee decided that feasibility studies must be done before the process can continue. In other words, the committee halted the process of advancing this plan, apparently at least for one year. 

The Atarot plans include some 9,000 new housing units, green areas, entertainment, public spaces and commerce. These plans for a new Jewish neighborhood on the other side of the Green Line are controversial, which is why the Biden administration seems to be furious and why left-wing ministers in Naftali Bennett’s Cabinet are trying to push forward other options for the area.

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