RAMALLAH, Sept. 14 (JMCC) - Israel
's Jerusalem Council has announced plans to discuss building 1,362
new housing units in occupied East Jerusalem
, according to Israeli
The debate, which will likely take place in early October, would most likely derail current peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians that have already been mired in controversy over Israeli settlements
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
says he will not extend a moratorium on new settlement building that expires at the end of September, but will try to curb the extent that amount taking place.
...On October 7, the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee will discuss plans for 1,362 new homes in Givat Hamatos, between the suburbs of Talpiot and Gilo. The hilltop area is currently the site of a caravan village populated mostly by Arabs and Ethiopian immigrants.Read
Although Givat Hamatos is not covered by the freeze, which excludes East Jerusalem, the timing of the debate could have significant diplomatic consequences.
In April, an Israeli announcement of plans for 1,600 housing units in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo coincided with a visit to the country by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, leading to a high-profile row between Israel and the United states.
Responding to news of the upcoming debate, Ir Amim, a non-profit group, said:
Sadly, East Jerusalem is once again being used as a battleground for provocative and irresponsible activities on the part of the authorities, and once again it's especially horrible timing.
more about this story at Haaretz