Netanyahu says build, Hamas says terror

Dec. 26, 2012 at 6:59 AM
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JERUSALEM, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged to add settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank and a Hamas official called for suicide attacks in response.

Netanyahu, addressing Likud-Beiteinu Party supporters Tuesday night at the start of the election campaign in Jerusalem, declared "with God's help we will continue to live and build in Jerusalem, which will continue to stand undivided under Israeli sovereignty," quoted him saying

"Over the past few years we've done a lot to empower the settlements and we will continue to do so."

Netanyahu's statement came amid growing international criticism over Israel's decision to approve construction of new housing units in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Late Monday a Jerusalem planning committee approved the construction of 1,200 apartments in the Jerusalem suburb of Gilo.

Gilo is on the Palestinian side of the 1967 Green Line, which marks the area between Israel and the Palestinian Territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War, and includes the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip.

In response to Israel's construction plans, a senior Hamas official called Tuesday for the resumption of suicide bombings and another uprising, The Jerusalem Post said.

Ahmed Halabiyeh, director of Hamas' Jerusalem Department, called on Palestinian groups including Hamas to launch "martyrdom operations in the heart of Israel."

Speaking to reporters in Gaza, Halabiyeh urged Palestinians to "ignite a third intifada to save the al-Aksa mosque and Jerusalem," the Post quoted him saying.

"The enemy (Israel) is waging a fierce onslaught on Jerusalem and accelerating plans to Judaize the city geographically and demographically," he said.

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