Israel builds neighborhood in Jerusalem that Triggered Biden when he was Vice President
On Thursday, the Jerusalem authority announced it had issued permits for 115 apartments to be built in Ramat Shlomo. In addition, the Antiquities Authority is surveying an area in Givat Hamatos in Jerusalem in preparation for beginning construction.
If Joe Biden is certified as the next president of the US, the new construction will be an early test for him as he has stated explicitly that he advocates for the creation of a Palestinian state inside Israel with Jerusalem as its capital.
Slap in the Face for Biden
As a symbolic act, the construction in Ramat Shlomo may be a slap in the face for Biden. In 2010, after pressure from the Obama administration, Israel announced a 10-month partial freeze on new settlement building in the West Bank. The agreement exempted Jerusalem from the moratorium because Israel has annexed all of the city Jerusalem and considers it part of its united capital. In March 2010, the Jerusalem municipality approved the construction of an additional 1,600 apartments in Ramat Shlomo. The announcement coincided with the visit of then-Vice-President Joe Biden, angering the US government. At the time, Biden reacted by saying the move was “precisely the kind of step that undermines the trust we need right now.” The Ramat Shlomo project later became known as “the Biden Plan.”
It should be noted that Ramat Shlomo is in northern Jerusalem and not the eastern section of the city.
Biden is expected to reopen the US Consulate in Jerusalem and the PLO Mission in Washington DC. He has also said he will restore hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to the Palestinians that Trump cut off.
A quarry from the period of the Second Temple was found at Ramat Shlomo. King Herod is believed to have used stones from this quarry for his massive construction project to expand the Temple Mount. Giant stones extracted from the quarry weighed several tons. Jewish tombs have also been discovered in Ramat Shlomo dating to this period.
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