Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Construction Status in Jerusalem, September 1968

It's been ages since we've posted on what used to be one of our main pet projects, namely Jerusalem after the Six Day War. Well, yesterday a file crossed my desk which had been ordered by a researcher in the reading room; when he declared it "uninteresting" someone brought it to me to have a peek. I don't think it's uninteresting. (×’-6423/9)

The file is from Levi Eshkol's office. The particular document we'll start with is an unsigned report from September 19, 1968, summarizing government construction projects in Jerusalem 15 months after the war.
In the east of the city there are 900 apartments under construction, and another 600 will be in construction within six months, for a total of 1,500. In the west part of town, the government is constructing 800 apartments, and private builders are working on 700, so that's also 1,500 units. We've prepared plots for the construction of 1,900 units in the east, but there aren't enough builders.
On Mount Scopus, enough dormitories are being built to accommodate 450 students by the beginning of the academic year (early November, apparently).
The first stage of construction on the national headquarters of the Police has been completed; the rest will be completed according to plan. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem headquarters has been moved to the Jericho Road in East Jerusalem.
The construction of 200 units for Arabs has been authorized. A fund has been set up, and IL250,000 of IL1m have already been earmarked.
Reconstruction is underway in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. 450 squatters have been removed from the shacks and ruins they were living in; 100 Jews have been settled in the first 200 rooms to have been renovated. They will be joined soon by another 300, and the renovation plans for additional structures are underway. We've begun laying water and electric mains. We've invested IL500,000 in removing 10,000 cubic meters of debris from the area.
Next year, we'll build 400 units on French Hill and 1,000 on Givat Hatachmoshet and 600 in Neve Yaacov (in East Jerusalem). Normally it takes 18 months to build a unit, but in light of the labor shortage it's taking longer.

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