Construction for Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem: Prime Minister Netanyahu believes that the building of homes for Jewish and Arab residents alike is essential for the continued development of Jerusalem. Construction plans for 3,015 housing units in 10 Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem will be implemented simultaneously with the Har Homa project.
Most Expropriated Land was Jewish-Owned: To implement the Har Homa construction project, it was necessary in past years to expropriate land, most of it Jewish-owned. Approximately 1,400 of the 1,850 dunams at the site, or 75%, were expropriated from Jews, while nearly 450 dunams, or 25%, were owned by Arabs. No new expropriations are necessary to implement the building project at Har Homa.
Eases Jerusalemís Housing Shortage: The building project at Har Homa is slated to take place in two stages and will ultimately include 6,500 housing units, as well as schools, parks, public buildings, and commercial and industrial zones. In the first stage, 2,456 housing units will be built. The Har Homa project will ease the housing shortage in Jerusalem and provide residents with a wider array of housing options.
Located Within Jerusalemís Municipal Boundaries: Har Homa is located in the southern part of Jerusalem near Kibbutz Ramat Rachel and Gilo. The 1,850 dunam site is fully within Jerusalemís municipal boundaries and is currently uninhabited. The High Court of Justice rejected appeals by both Jewish and Arab landowners and approved the expropriations. The expropriations were undertaken on the basis of the fundamental common law principle of eminent domain, allowing governments to expropriate land from private owners for public use. In a decision issued on December 22, 1994, the Court concluded, "There is no other option for constructing the neighborhood other than expropriating the land, and building the neighborhood as planned by the state."
As the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said in the Knesset on May
15, 1995, "Building Jerusalem, like any other city, sometimes requires
confiscating land both for construction needs and for public needs, like
roads, schools, kindergartens, and community facilities. It has always
been this way in Israel." Consistent With Oslo Despite Palestinian claims
to the contrary, Israelís policy is fully consistent with the terms of
the Oslo Accords. Neither the Declaration of Principles of September 13,
1993 nor the Interim Agreement ("Oslo 2") of September 28, 1995 contains
any provisions prohibiting or restricting Israelís right to undertake construction
projects in areas under Israelís jurisdiction.
Provided by the Israeli Government Press Office