Jerusalem Approves Plan For New Chareidi Neighborhood

The planned new Chareidi neighborhood in Jerusalem in the area of the abandoned Atarot Airport. Architect Yuval Kadmon

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The Jerusalem City Council’s Planning and Building Committee on Wednesday approved a plan for the construction of a new neighborhood in the capital city designated for the Chareidi sector.

The neighborhood will be located at the northern edge of Jerusalem at the site of the abandoned Atarot Airport, which fell out of use during the Second Intifada in 2000.

It will be built over an area of 1,243 dunams (307 acres) and include about 9,000 housing units that will be marketed to the Chareidi sector, public spaces, employment and commercial areas, and space for hotels.

Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Defense Minister Ezer Weizmann return to Atarot Airport from talks in Egypt with president Anwar Sadat, 12/7/1978 (Eliyahu Hershkowitz)

A number of additional authorizations are still required and it will be at least another four years before construction begins.

Passengers outside Atarot Airport in 1969. (Ehud G/Wikipedia)

The plan has been stalled for years due to fear of international condemnation due to its location, right near the Arab neighborhood of Kufr Aqab, which is within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries but on the other side of Israel’s safety barrier, and near Qalandiya, where the main IDF checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah is located.

The announcement of the plan has already spurred condemnatory remarks, with EU Envoy to the PA Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff calling it an ”obstacle to peace.”

“Israeli settlements are a clear violation of international law and a major obstacle to a just, final and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” he said. “Such actions undermine the steps towards lasting peace between the parties and create tensions on the ground.”

An AP article slammed Israel for “moving ahead with plans to build a massive Jewish settlement on the site of a long-abandoned airport that the Palestinians had hoped would one day service their ‘future capital’ in east Jerusalem.”

“It’s one of several settlement projects that are advancing despite condemnation by the Biden administration, which along with the Palestinians and much of the international community views the settlements as an obstacle to resolving the century-old conflict.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Defense Minister Ezer Weizmann return to Atarot Looking at this picture of this believable צדיק גמור, the venerated מנחם Begin זצקללה”ה reminds me of such good old days, and what a ירידת הדורות Israel has suffered in just a mere 40 years.
    It is such an honor that I merited to name my בכור with this coveted name מנחם in honor of this amazing אדם גדול. Needless to say, each time I go to Israel, I go & visit the מנחם Begin center.