TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Israel plans more than 1,500 settlement homes

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 9:42 p.m.
 

JERUSALEM — Israel announced plans on Wednesday to build more than 1,500 homes in Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, dealing a setback to newly relaunched peace efforts hours after it had freed a group of long-serving Palestinian prisoners.

The construction plans drew angry condemnations from Palestinian officials, who accused Israel of undermining the U.S.-led talks by expanding settlements on the lands where they hope to establish an independent state. U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon also condemned the Israeli decision, and Washington said it would not create a “positive environment” for the negotiations.

Israel had freed the 26 Palestinian prisoners as part of a U.S.-brokered agreement to restart the talks. The construction was meant to blunt anger over the release of the prisoners, all of whom had been convicted of murder in the deaths of Israelis.

Israel's Interior Ministry said 1,500 apartments would be built in Ramat Shlomo, a large settlement in east Jerusalem, the section of the holy city claimed by the Palestinians as their capital. It also announced plans for archaeology and tourism projects near the Old City, home to Jerusalem's most sensitive holy sites.

Israel first announced the Ramat Shlomo plan in 2010 during a visit to Israel by Vice President Joe Biden, sparking a diplomatic rift with Washington that took months to mend. Wednesday's decision is the final approval needed, and construction can begin immediately, officials said.

Ofir Akunis, a lawmaker from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, said construction also had been approved for several West Bank settlements.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Teen girls’ suicide bombs rip into Nigerian village marketplace
  2. Abduction in Mexico to spur police, judicial system changes
  3. Brits blame web services in soldier’s death
  4. Nuclear talks with Iran extended until March; GOP senators call for more sanctions
  5. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu agrees to delay ‘nationality’ bill
  6. Taliban suicide attacker kills 4 in Kabul
  7. Smuggling dragnet snares Colombians visiting Venezuela
  8. Italian mobsters’ secret oath captured on police video for 1st time
  9. Afghan parliament approves U.S., NATO agreements
  10. With sanctions, sliding oil prices, Russia losing more than $100B a year, finance minister says
  11. Turkish leader says genders can’t be equal
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.