In what appears to be a response to the ongoing housing crisis in the State of Israel, the Israeli government has on Thursday given final approval to build housing units in the settlement of Har Homa (Jabal Abu Ghneim). Israeli media outlets are reporting that 930 new housing units will be constructed in the illegal settlement of Har Homa, situated between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.
This new approval follows the submission of a petition by 42 Members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, to expand construction of settlements.
Israeli spokesperson, Efrat Orbach, stated that initial approval of the expansion of Har Homa was granted two years ago, and that final approval was delayed due to necessary amendments.
Yet this approval comes in the midst of a housing crisis in Israel that has seen ongoing protest in Tel Aviv, with upwards of 150,000 persons attending protests at the so-called “Tent City”.
Construction of the settlement of Har Homa began in 1997 on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank by Israel following the Six Day War of 1967, and currently houses a population of approximately 20,000. Under the Fourth Geneva convention the resettlement of an occupying power’s population onto non-sovereign land is an illegal act.