Israel approves new settler homes in East Jerusalem

Israel approves new settler homes in East Jerusalem
Updated 25 October 2017

Israel approves new settler homes in East Jerusalem

Israel approves new settler homes in East Jerusalem

GAZA CITY: Israel approved the major expansion of a Jewish settler enclave in the heart of East Jerusalem on Wednesday, issuing building permits for 176 new units.
Palestinians immediately condemned the project, which a Jerusalem municipality spokeswoman said was approved by the city’s planning committee, as a violation of international law.
The announcement came less than a week after Israel confirmed approval for the construction of several hundred additional settler enclaves for Jewish communities in the West Bank, drawing condemnation from Palestinians and the EU.
Some 500,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem — areas that are home to more than 2.6 million Palestinians.
Israel’s persistent engagement in settlement activities has been universally condemned and is illegal under international law. Last December, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling on Israel to immediately cease its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. The issue was one of the main reasons why peace talks between Israel and Palestine collapsed in 2014 and have not taken place since.
Construction of the new units will nearly triple the number of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem’s Nof Zion community, which is surrounded by Palestinian houses in the Jabel Al-Mukaber neighborhood, in territory that Israel captured and annexed in the 1967 war and which Palestinians seek as part of a state they want to establish in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“We are unifying Jerusalem through actions on the ground,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said in a statement about the settlement expansion.
Adnan Al-Husseini, the Palestinian minister of Al-Quds affairs, told Arab News, “The Israeli move is disrespectful of international efforts to resume the peace negotiation.”
He urged the international community not to “turn a blind eye,” and stressed the need to hold Israel “accountable and not to allow them to go unpunished.”
Palestinian News Agency WAFA reported that Nabil Abu Rudeineh, official spokesman of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, had condemned the Israeli announcement, stressing that all settlements are illegal according to UN resolutions.
He called on Washington to intervene immediately in order to salvage the peace process.