JERUSALEM: Israel plans to build more than 2,600 housing units in a new urban settlement in East Jerusalem, an anti-settlement group said Friday, angering Palestinians who want a halt to all such projects before they return to peace talks.
The Peace Now group said the plan was approved earlier this week by a municipal committee, which had given the go-ahead for construction on the site which lies on land seized by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
There was no immediate comment from the committee on the report, but the Palestinians said they believed the news was accurate.
“Israel’s plan to build 2,610 housing units … between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, makes a mockery of … efforts to bring about a just and lasting peace,” chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said in a statement.
Direct peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians broke down a year ago after Israel refused to bow to demands that it cease all settlement building.