Israel plan housing in disputed east Jerusalem
Thursday, 11 August 2011
Israel's interior minister has given final authorisation to build 1,600 apartments in disputed east Jerusalem and will approve 2,700 more in days, officials said today.
Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office knows the construction plans are moving ahead, interior ministry spokesman Roi Lachmanovich said. An earlier approval for the 1,600-apartment project badly embarrassed Mr Netanyahu and caused a diplomatic rift with
Palestinians oppose all Israeli construction in east
The approval for the apartments could also create new problems for
Frustrated by a nearly three-year impasse in talks with
Mr Netanyahu's spokesman Mark Regev had no immediate comment on the latest project's final approval.
Mr Lachmanovich said the new apartments are necessary to address a housing shortage in the city.
"There's always something pending," he said, when asked about the timing of the approvals.
Actual construction is unlikely to begin for a number of years because building plans will have to go through multiple approval processes.
Negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis have ground to a halt, with each side accusing the other of violating existing agreements and not acting in good faith.
The Palestinians refuse to negotiate with the Netanyahu government as long as it continues to build in the West Bank and east
Israel rejects that demand, arguing that previous rounds of talks moved ahead in tandem with settlement construction.
The international community, however, does not recognise the annexation, and regards the Jewish construction there to be no different from the Jewish construction in
Since 1967, 500,000 Jews have made their homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs