Israel approves 50 new settler homes
Israel approved plans for 50 new settler homes in East Jerusalem on Monday, AFP reports.
“The municipality has given the green light to build 50 new housing units in five buildings in Har Homa,” city councilor Yosef Pepe Alalu told AFP.
This is the first public announcement from Israel about plans to build new settlements since the peace talks fell apart a month ago.
A watchdog organization recently revealed that Israel approved thousands of new settler homes during the peace talks in secret.
East Jerusalem was captured by Israeli forces during the Six-Day war of 1967. It was later annexed by the Israeli government, a move that has never been recognized by the international community.
Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its "eternal, indivisible" capital and does not see any building done in the eastern part of the city as settlement building.
The Palestinians also claim Jerusalem to be the capital of their promised state, an issue which is currently under discussion in the U.S.-led negotiations between the two sides as they strive to make peace progess before the talks' April deadline.
Both the Palestinians and the international community consider all Israel construction on land seized in 1967 to be a violation of international law, according to AFP.