Palestinians blast Jerusalem building plans

Palestinians said reported Israeli building plans in Jerusalem undermine renewed peace efforts. Ha’aretz reported Thursday that the Jerusalem municipality plans to
authorize 20,000 new apartments, creating contiguity
with the West Bank settlement bloc of Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem
and the Bet El settlement to the north. One of the projects, for 500
apartments, is in an area heavily populated by Palestinians.”Settlements and peace don’t go together,” Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, told The Associated Press. Ha’aretz quoted Deputy Mayor Yehoshua Pollak as saying that because the building was within Jerusalem’s boundaries, it was not settlement. Israel annexed eastern Jerusalem shortly after its capture in the 1967 Six Day War. The annexation has not been recognized by the international community, and the Palestinians continue to claim the area as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

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