625 New Housing Units Approved in Occupied Territory
In a move expected to spark another flurry of international condemnation and cheer from Israel’s far right, the Israeli government announced today that they have approved another 625 settlement units inside the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem.
The expansion comes just weeks after the Netanyahu government announced 1,300 settlement units in the city. The US has been trying to negotiate a freeze in settlement expansions to save the stalled peace talks, but so far no deal has been reached.
Israel meanwhile has maintained that the settlements in East Jerusalem aren’t technically settlements because they believe the city is part of an “eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish people.” East Jerusalem was occupied in 1967 with the rest of the West Bank, however, and the international community has never recognized Israel’s claim over it.
Israel has also claimed to have gotten the US to agree to exclude East Jerusalem from any settlement freeze, but this agreement appears to have come without figuring out if the Palestinian Authority would accept this as a means of restarting the peace talks.
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