The Media Line reports:
Meir Rubinstein pulls out a directive from Israel’s Defense Ministry that brought to a halt of construction of 210 apartments last year. The mayor of Beitar Illit, the most populous Jewish community in land acquired by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War, Rubinstein says he needs to build at least 1,000 units a year just to keep up with demand.
“There was a freeze for the past five or six years. Twice there was an approval for 300 units so instead of 6,000 apartments – every year we need 1,000 flats – we got just 600, just 10%,” Rubinstein told The Media Line.
Nearly a year after the Israeli government lifted a 10-month ban on housing construction in land acquired in 1967, there’s a building boom underway. It comes as peace talks remained deadlocked and the Palestinians are seeking unilateral recognition of their state by the United Nations.
Rubinstein and other mayors and community leaders say they are eager to build new houses and apartments, so eager that since the building freeze ended last October organizations like Peace Now, which monitors construction, assert they are constructing homes at twice the per capita rate of the rest of the country.