In a Blow to Trump Plan, Israel Advances Housing Plan in Area Meant for Palestinians

Israel to build Jewish neighborhood over planned site of Palestinian tourism center

Throughout decades of not giving the Palestinians a state, Israel’s most consistent strategy, beyond not giving them a state, has been to expand settlements in ways that would undercut any future efforts. President Trump’s “deal of the century” plan is the latest to run into this strategy.

One of the plans out of Trump’s deal was the establishment of a Palestinian tourism center in occupied East Jerusalem. This center is going to be very difficult to build, however, as Israel’s Housing Ministry has announced that they plan to build a Jewish neighborhood of 9,000 homes over the top of the same area.

The former Palestinian airport of Atarot was expected to be the site of a few Palestinian buildings under the Trump plan, as it is one of the few plots of land unused. Israel’s plan is to use up the whole of the airport neighborhood for this new settlement.

Peace Now, an anti-settlement NGO, was deeply critical of the move, saying the settlement would once again prevent a viable Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem. That, it seems, is at least part of the idea.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.