Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for stepped up construction of 2,000 new homes for Israelis in the occupied Palestinian territories, the premier’s press service said on Tuesday.
“We are talking about an additional 2,000 homes that will remain on Israeli territory whatever the terms of the possible recognition of Palestine’s statehood bid,” Netanyahu’s adviser, Alex Selsky said, adding that Israel would also temporarily halt the transfer of finances to the Palestinian government.
Netanyahu’s order comes a day after the Palestinian National Authority became a full-fledged member of UNESCO.
Israel sharply criticized the UN organization’s move, saying it would adjust its position toward UNESCO.
In early October Israel announced plans to build some 300 new homes for Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians claim as the capital of their future state. In late September, Israel had approved construction of 1,100 homes in East Jerusalem.