19 September 2021
On September 12, a new outline plan (TPS 979336) initiated by the Jerusalem Municipality for Givat Hamatos A was approved for deposit for objections by the Local Planning Committee. The new plan would replace the already approved outline plan (TPS 14295) from 2014 for 2610 housing units, 1257 of which were tendered at the beginning of 2021. While the new plan will not prevent the tendered units from moving forward, further research is necessary to fully understand its potential impact on the construction process of the housing units.
According to the information currently available, the new plan neither expands the territorial area of the future settlement nor does it explicitly call for an increase in the number of housing units. However, it does cite a 30% increase in the total scope of construction, which appears contradictory. Additional information is still needed to definitively confirm the details of this apparent 30% increase; however, it could be allocated, for example, towards the enlargement of individual housing units.
The Jerusalem Municipality has long sought to expand the number of housing units in Givat Hamatos as demonstrated by a master plan it attempted to advance last year, which included an additional 3,900 units. The plan, however, did not move forward.
It should be noted that the approval process for the new outline plan (TPS 979336) will be fast-tracked since it is under the jurisdiction of the Local Planning Committee and will therefore not need to go before the District Planning Committee. While submission of new outline plans after completion of a tender process does occasionally occur, it is typically initiated by contractors in order to maximize future profits. In this instance, it is the municipality who has submitted the new outline plan.
The new plan's potential impact on the tendered units is still unclear; however, it will certainly not terminate the contracts with the tenders' winning bidders. Moreover, the ongoing construction of infrastructure works on Givat Hamatos indicates that the process is advancing at full speed. These measures underscore that the current government is continuing to accelerate further settlement and steps towards de facto annexation regardless of promoting the notion of change and reform to Israel's policies and actions.