The Israeli government gave the go ahead for 1,600 new housing units for Jewish families to be built in East Jerusalem, an Israeli Interior Ministry press release published on Tuesday said.
The announcement of the new housing project appeared against the background of the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and a day after the announcement that 112 housing units would be build in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
Residents believe Jewish settlements on Palestinian territories to be the main obstacle to reviving peace talks with Israel. The Palestinian government has agreed to hold indirect talks mediated by the United States after a 15-month break. However, Ramallah has called to discontinue negotiations in response to Jerusalem settlement construction activity.
Israel has declared Jerusalem to be its territory after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. But according to rules of international law, these territories are considered occupied. Under the internationally agreed roadmap for Middle East peace, Israel is obliged to freeze all settlement construction activity since 2001 in the Palestinian territories.
TEL AVIV, March 9 (RIA Novosti)