Israel unveiled plans Friday to construct 1,300 more homes in east Jerusalem. The announcement by Israel's Interior Ministry brought to more than 3,000 the number of homes Israel has approved for construction on land that Palestinians want for a state.
Israel insisted Friday that most of the building — in east Jerusalem — is on land the state has already annexed and thus it does not violate its commitment in negotiations not to build on disputed land. The comments by government spokesman Mark Regev suggested that Israel will not be deterred from further building in the city.
According to the AP, Israel's Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Hadad said Friday new apartments were approved for construction in the ultra-Orthodox Ramat Shlomo neighborhood to help alleviate a housing shortage in Jerusalem.
"We firmly condemn this project, which reveals the Israeli government's intention to destroy peace," Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said. "The international community must make Israel stop its settlement activity if it wants to give peace negotiations a chance."