Israel announces plans for new homes on occupied territories on eve of peace talks
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Development
Israel has announced intentions to build 1,200 new homes on occupied Palestinian land, days before peace talks are scheduled to begin.
According to the country's housing ministry, 793 of the new houses will be built in East Jerusalem, with 394 planned for large settlement blocs in the West Bank, the Financial Times reported.
“No country receives orders about where it can and cannot build from other countries,” said Israel's housing minister Uri Ariel - a member of the pro-settler Jewish Home party.
A senior Palestinian official accused Israel’s government of using peace negotiations as “a smokescreen for more settlement construction” and called on the US and the international community to hold Israel accountable.
However, Palestinian negotiator Mohammed Shtayyeh slammed the announcement.
He said: “It is clear that the Israeli government is deliberately attempting to sabotage US and international efforts to resume negotiations by approving more settlement units three days before the first Palestinian-Israeli meeting."
Israel's right-wing coalition government has repeatedly ignored international calls to stop settlement construction.
In 2010, peace talks between Israel and Palestine collapsed over the issue.
READ NEXT »