1,300 new housing units for Jerusalem

Nov. 8, 2010 at 1:30 PM
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JERUSALEM, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Hours before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Jerusalem authorities approved more than 1,300 new housing units.

All of the new units approved by the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee are beyond the Green Line in the Jewish neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze'ev, Har Homa, and Ramot on land annexed by Israel after the Six Day War. Details of their approval were published Monday.

The plans were published just hours before Netanyahu, currently on a five day trip to the United States, was scheduled to meet with the U.N. secretary-general in New York Monday, Ynetnews.com said.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Netanyahu of sabotaging efforts to reach a peace agreement.

"We thought Netanyahu was going to the United States to stop settlement activity and restart negotiations, but it is clear to us that he is determined to destroy the talks," the Ma'an news agency quoted Erekat as saying.

"He has shut all the doors to negotiations and we hold him responsible for destroying them."

The committee approved the construction of 32 housing units Monday in the northeastern neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev, part of a broader plan to build 220 units, Ynetnews.com said.

Haaretz said 978 units were approved in Har Homa in the southeastern section of Jerusalem near Bethlehem and an additional 320 units in Ramot in the northwest.

Haaretz noted Har Homa was the cause of a rift between Netanyahu and the U.S. administration when building began there in the late 1990s.

Israel Radio said some of the plans were submitted more than two years ago to the committee for approval.

A statement issued by the Interior Ministry said the details of the new housing units were published according to the law but were approved long before they were published.

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