Israel is to push ahead with 1,300 new homes for Jewish families in disputed East Jerusalem, despite fierce opposition from Palestinians.
Plans for the housing units have been made public, meaning they have passed another procedural stage towards eventual construction.
The Interior Ministry insists it could be years before building begins. But for the Palestinian Authority,
it is one more sign that the Israelis don’t want peace.
“I really think that this is an act to be condemned, this is a show of defiance of the international community, of the United States government and of the peace process,” said Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Shaath.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is in the US, has refused to reimpose a partial freeze on settlement building. As a result, the Palestinians won’t pursue peace talks.
But as Washington expressed deep disappointment at the settlement announcement, Netanyahu said: “Israel will not be dictated to.”