Last updated: 8 October, 2011

New Israeli homes set for east Jerusalem

Jerusalem municipality has given the green light for the construction of 11 new apartments in the Jewish settlement of Pisgat Zeev in the annexed east of the city, a councillor told AFP on Saturday.

“The municipality approved at the beginning of the week the construction of 11 apartments, as part of a project of 300 housing units supposed to be approved section by section,” Pepe Alalou of the leftist Meretz party said.

Israel on September 27 approved a plan to build 1,100 new homes in a Jewish settlement, prompting an angry reaction from the Palestinians who said it amounted to a direct rejection of international efforts to restart peace talks.

Both the US State Department and the White House issued strong condemnation after Israel’s interior ministry said the new housing units in Gilo in east Jerusalem had been cleared by its district planning committee.

Israel considers all of Jerusalem to be its “eternal, indivisible” capital and does not view construction in the east to be settlement activity.

The Palestinians, however, believe east Jerusalem should be the capital of their future state and are fiercely opposed to the extension of Israeli control over the sector seized in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed.