The Israeli government announced plans to build 800 settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem, Haaretz reported on Sunday.
This will include 560 new units in, 140 in Ramor, and 100 in Har Homa and Pisgat Zeev areas. Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, 200,000 Israelis have been illegally settled in East Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the construction on Sunday. The expansion of settlements is seen as a countermeasure to the stabbing of a 13-year-old girl in the West Bank.
“… Settlement construction in the heart of the future of the Palestinian state is endangering both the possibility for peace and two states and the security of Israeli citizens,” the Israeli human rights group Peace Now noted. Settler leadership is asking for complete annexation of East Jerusalem, Jerusalem Post reported on Monday.
The U.N.’s special coordinator for Middle East peace Nickolay Mladenov cautioned on Sunday that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is slipping away. On Friday the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia quarter issued a report calling on Israel to stop its settlement construction policy.
(Al Jazeera, Haaretz, Jerusalem Post, Reuters)