Labor Head Michaeli Tries To Stop Building Of Chareidi Neighborhood In Atarot

Prime Minister Menachem Begin (center), defense minister Ezer Weizmann (second right) and other Israeli officials return to Atarot Airport from talks in Egypt with president Anwar Sadat, 12/7/1978 (Eliyahu Hershkowitz)

Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli (Labor) is trying to thwart the construction of a new Chareidi neighborhood in Atarot and is promoting the restoration of the operation of the abandoned airport at the site instead, joining the efforts of the Biden administration to end Jewish expansion in “occupied” east Jerusalem.

According to a Yediot Achranot report, following Michaeli’s decision against establishing a new international airport in Ramat Dovid in northern Israel, she established a committee to examine the possibility of “reviving” the Atarot airport that would theoretically serve Israelis and Palestinians in Yehudah and Shomron.

The committee sent a request to the chairman of the National Planning Headquarters to postpone next week’s hearing in the Jerusalem District Committee for the approval of the construction of a Jewish neighborhood in the area.

Atarot Airport has been abandoned since the start of the Second Intifada in 2000, due to safety concerns caused by the fact that the area is surrounded and easily accessible by Arab communities.

Michaeli’s plan follows the report that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Biden administration officials that the plan for the new Jewish neighborhood is now being considered at the municipal level but he will thwart the plan when it reaches the national level.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. If the airport can be reopened that would be great, but I don’t see how it can be done safely in the current circumstances.

    Still, when Moshiach comes Yerushalayim is going to need an airport, so if Atarot is still available that would be ideal. There’s no reason people coming to the beis hamikdosh should have to land in Lud and drive from there.