On the verge of expanding the city limits, Jerusalem's National Planning and Building Council has postponed a decision for two months amid protests from environmentalists and concerned citizens.
Hundreds turned out recently to protest the expansion of Jerusalem into nearby undeveloped hillsides. The overwhelming opposition to the proposed expansion has prompted the National Planning and Building Council to more deeply consider the plan and its environmental effects.
"Environmental groups maintain that construction of almost 20,000 new housing units on the hills outside the city will have a negative effect on open spaces, and will hurt the city's center."
" 'This is a horrible plan that will destroy Jerusalem,' one of the activists said during the protest. 'This is also bad from a social perspective, as it will prevent the rehabilitation of neighborhoods in the center of the city. There won't be any public transportation to the new development and there will be thus be more private vehicles on the roads.' "