The Israeli government announced its intention today to build another 700 new apartments for settlers in occupied East Jerusalem, provoking another series of condemnations from across the world and another complaint from Palestinian negotiators that the Netanyahu government isn’t serious about peace talks.
The White House immediately declared its opposition to the new construction, saying East Jerusalem’s status should be settled in negotiations, and not through unilateral moves like this.
Though Israel has announced a freeze on new settlement construction projects, they excluded East Jerusalem from that. They likewise insist that the settlements in East Jerusalem aren’t technically settlements, even though they are built in territory that is not internationally recognized as part of Israel, and which Israel never formally annexed.
Israel seized East Jerusalem along with the rest of the West Bank in the 1967 Six Day War. Though they have considered giving portions of the West Bank to create a Palestinian state, they have declared East Jerusalem part of the “eternal, undivided” capital of Israel, and say they will never allow it to be part of such a state.
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