Israel to construct more West Bank units

Nov. 30, 2012 at 3:08 PM

JERUSALEM, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- Israel has authorized the building of 3,000 more housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, officials said, a slap at the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian government has said it would not return to peace talks without a building freeze in the occupied territories. Israel's decision comes a day after the United Nations General assembly upgraded the Palestinians' U.N. status to that of non-member observer state.

Israel is also accelerating the processing of 1,000 building permits, or "planning permissions," the BBC reported Thursday, adding new construction in the area known as E1 is opposed by the Palestinians because it effectively cuts the West Bank in two and prevents the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state.

A government official told Israel's Channel 10 Israel "is considering several other actions in response to the unilateral Palestinian U.N. move," the Jerusalem Post reported.

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