Turkey condemns new building in Jerusalem

ANKARA, Turkey, April 6 (UPI) -- Turkey Friday accused Israel of undermining the peace process with plans to build more housing in East Jerusalem.

The Turkish government statement said new building in the Har Homa neighborhood would violate international law, Today's Zaman reported. The government said international efforts to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority would be stalled.


"We strongly condemn the Israeli government for adding to its settlement activities in occupied Palestinian lands by opening tenders for more than 800 additional units," the Foreign Ministry said.

Turkey was once one of Israel's strongest allies in the Muslim world. But relations between the two countries have been frayed by the election of a moderate Islamist government in Turkey and by the killing of nine Turkish activists in 2010 in an Israeli raid on a flotilla aimed at bringing relief supplies to Gaza.

Jerusalem, which was divided between Israel and Jordan until the 1967 war, is a major sticking point in peace talks. While the Palestinian Authority insists East Jerusalem should be the capital of an independent state, Israel says the city can never again be split.


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