250 new hectares of land were recently added to Jerusalem’s control following a multi-year process, which will allow the Municipality to establish a new residential neighborhood in Jerusalem with around 2,000 new residential units. In 2009, the Border Committee of the Interior Ministry met for the first time to discuss the possibility of transferring 250 hectares of land, adjacent to the Arnona neighborhood, from the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council and Kibbutz Ramat Rachel to the control of the Jerusalem Municipality. The land was used in the past as agricultural space for the Ramat Rachel Kibbutz.
Recently, the Municipality received an official letter from the Minister of the Interior heralding the transfer of the land to the city’s control. Following this, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and the Israel Lands Authority, we are planning to build the “Mordot Arnona” (Arnona Hillside) neighborhood, which will include more than 2,000 residential units.
The approval of the program for the residential neighborhood and the transfer of land to the control of Jerusalem, afford us and the government authorities access for developing and marketing the neighborhood. The program has already been approved and was validated by the regional committee, and is currently being marketed, a process which is expected to last around a year—before building permits are issued.
Mayor Nir Barkat noted that "we are strengthening and increasing Jerusalem's size. In the 50th year since its unification, it continues to grow and to develop. The establishment of a new neighborhood will allow us to attract young families to the city, to expand our response to the demand for housing in the city, and, of course, to strengthen Israel's capital."