Israel has begun planning for a new Jewish neighborhood on land in East Jerusalem that was designated a part of Palestine in the peace plan proposed by President Donald Trump and where about a dozen Palestinian families live, Haaretz reports.
The country's Construction and Housing Ministry started working on building plans 10 days ago for a neighborhood about 310 acres in size that would start at the northern side of Jerusalem near the site of the former Atarot airport and would extend into the border with the Palestinian Kafr Aqab neighborhood, which is considered part of Israel despite being located on the opposite side of the barrier.
The land is currently split between the state, the Jewish National Fund, and many private individuals who are mostly Palestinian. According to planning documents, this land may be reapportioned without the approval of the owners, and although the plans do not specify who the neighborhood is for, it does include synagogues and Jewish ritual baths.
The plan proposed by the Trump administration states that Israel will retain its control over Atarot and the other East Jerusalem neighborhoods to the west of the barrier, but that the state "should allow for the development by the State of Palestine of a special tourism zone in Atarot, in a specific area to be agreed upon by the parties."
It adds, "We envision that this area should be a world class tourist zone that should support Muslim tourism to Jerusalem and its holy sites. We envision that this zone will become a thriving and vibrant tourism center that includes state-of-the-art public transportation that provides easy access to and from the holy sites."
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