Ramat Shlomo – expansion and timing

The Interior Ministry announced that 1600 housing units will be established in Ramat Shlomo, a North Eastern Haredi suburb of Jerusalem between Ramot and French Hill, bordering Shuafat.  Even though Israel has made clear that the 10 month moratorium on building did not include Jerusalem, the announcement and its timing brought criticism from U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, who is currently in the Middle East trying to energize the indirect talks planned between Israel and the Palestinian authority. 

While some political figures in Israel agreed that the timing of the announcement was regrettable, PM Netanyahu denied prior knowledge of the announcement,  and the building had been 3 years in the planning, and would take another 2 years for actuality.   Ramat Shlomo, established since 1995, is named after the reknowned Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach whose first major published work, Meorei Esh, interestingly was the first  written on the subject of using electricity on Shabbat.   Here is a map pointing out Ramat Shlomo’s location

Debka File has a different perspective, suggesting that the timing of the announcement was related to an Israeli disagreement and disappointment with the U.S. stance on Iran, in particular related to sanctions, footdragging on thwarting Iran’s move towards nuclear capability, and a potential Israeli military response.   


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