Settlement-related Developments in Beit Hanina & Har Homa E

April 22, 2020
Local Planning Committee Recommends for Deposit Plans for Settlement Enclaves inside Beit Hanina
Today, the Local Planning Committee discussed two plans (TPS 740993 and TPS 740951) for the establishment of two new settler compounds inside Beit Hanina and recommended they be deposited for objections. These plans will now proceed to discussions at the District Planning Committee level. Both parcels of land are claimed to be owned by Israelis. So far, Ir Amim has only been able to verify that part of the plots in TPS 740951 are considered by the Israeli court to have been purchased by Israelis some forty years ago.
Although originally scheduled to be discussed at the Local Planning Committee on March 18, they were subsequently omitted from the agenda.  The plans likewise reappeared on the agenda for discussions on April 1 and again removed. For a third time, the plans remerged on the agenda for today’s discussions at the Local Planning Committee and were subsequently taken off and then immediately placed back on.
Such moves indicate concerted pressure to advance these plans by prominent settler figures, including Arieh King, longstanding settler activist and Jerusalem Municipal Councilman who is behind the promotion of these projects.
The establishment of more settler enclaves in the heart of Beit Hanina will not only impact the fabric of this community and fracture its space, but will further erode opening conditions for a political solution to the conflict based on two capitals in Jerusalem.

Link here for higher resolution map.
District Committee to Discuss Two Plans for Har Homa E (also known as Har Homa West)
On April 27, the District Committee is scheduled to hold a subsequent discussion on the master plan (TPS 15399) for 2200 housing units in Har Homa E along with a detailed outline plan (TPS 285411) for 306 units on 30 dunams of land within TPS 15399 along the northwestern edge of Har Homa EHar Homa E is marked by a purple circle on the map below.
As previously reported, both of these plans were discussed at the Local and District Planning Committees in late February, however not advanced due to various technical issues with the plans.
Since TPS 15399 is a master plan, if approved it does not require a period of deposit for objections, yet at the same time, it will not enable the immediate issuance of building permits, which can only take place after the preparation and approval of detailed outline plans for various portions within the master plan. Its potential advancement, however, will enable the future initiation of detailed outline plans for the rest of Har Homa E, as is demonstrated by the parallel advancement of TPS 285411.
While TPS 285411 is designated for 306 housing units for 30 dunams of land in Har Homa E, its initiators intend to increase the number of housing units to 500. The area in question is registered as being owned by several Israeli landowners. After many years of not being advanced, these plans are now being swiftly promoted.  
The resubmission of these plans for discussion only two months following the committee’s decision not to advance them and likewise amid the COVID-19 pandemic with its accompanied government restrictions and limitations highlights the pressure being applied to promote these plans.
Ramifications of the Plans' Advancement
Construction in Har Homa E will serve as another step in connecting the existing Gilo and Har Homa neighborhoods/settlements and create a contiguous Israeli built-up area along the southern perimeter of East Jerusalem. This will likewise detach Bethlehem and the southern West Bank from East Jerusalem while isolating the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa. In line with the new reality created by the Trump Plan and its unilateral recognition of Israeli sovereignty of East Jerusalem, these developments will constitute a major obstacle towards the future establishment of a Palestinian capital in the city and the prospect of a viable two-state framework.

For higher resolution map, click here.