Building in Gilo is fine...
I have no problem with Israel building more houses in Gilo...
Residents of Gilo on Wednesday reacted with surprise and anger to news that the US administration was dismayed by a government decision to approve 900 new homes in their neighborhood, questioning the relevance of the criticism while denouncing it unequivocally.Gilo was a Jewish settlement going back decades - well before the establishment of the state of Israel. Gilo lies within Jerusalem's municipal boundaries and is geographically contiguous to surrounding Jewish neighborhoods that pre-dated the Six Day War.
"It's just so ridiculous," said Silva, as she walked outside her home on the neighborhood's Rehov Shabtai Hanegbi.
"Anyone who is opposed to us building in Gilo obviously doesn't know the neighborhood very well. There are more than 40,000 people living here - it could very well be a city within itself. I never even thought that Gilo was up for discussion."
Others reacted with similar surprise, but also frustration at what they said was misguided American policy in an area considered by a wide consensus of Israelis to be just another Jerusalem neighborhood.
"Since when is anyone thinking about giving Gilo away?" asked an elderly man as he waited at a bus stop. "And if we're not giving it away, why on earth can't we build here? Obama is sitting all the way over there in the White House making demands, and really, what does he know about anything?"
Ron, a grocery store owner on Rehov Zecharia, labeled the American criticism "stupid," and said he was shocked to see the question of building rights in his neighborhood thrust into the headlines.
"When I picked up the newspaper today I couldn't believe it," he said. "The location they want to build in isn't even close to any Arab homes, and it has nothing to do with peace negotiations.
"Since when was Gilo on the table?" he asked. "To be honest with you, it's all very upsetting."