Published on
by
Al Jazeera English

Backlash: Israel Orders New Building in East Jerusalem

Tenders for fresh "housing units" made public as Netanyahu government decides to freeze tax revenues to Palestinians.

by

An Israeli official said the accelerated construction is an answer to the moves being made by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in pursuit of statehood recognition. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Israel's prime minister has ordered the building of 2,000 new housing units for Israelis, mainly in East Jerusalem, an area Palestinians claim as the capital of their future state.

Binyamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Tuesday that the new construction includes settlements that he believes would be part of Israel in a future peace accord. Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land are considered illegal under international law.

Israel also decided on Tuesday to freeze the transfer of tax revenues owed to the Palestinian Authority, as a punitive measure after Palestine was granted full membership in UNESCO, media reports said.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Forum of Eight senior ministers, chaired by Netanyahu, Israel's public radio said.

An Israeli official said the accelerated construction is an answer to the moves being made by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in pursuit of statehood recognition.

He was speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

"You can't demand from the Israeli public to continue to show restraint when the Palestinian leadership continues to slam the door in their face," said the official.

He also said 1,650 of the new tenders are for units in eastern parts of Jerusalem, and the rest are for Efrat and Maale
Adumim, two illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinians object to Jewish housing in East Jerusalem and demand an end to all construction in the settlements before peace talks can resume. Israel rejects that as a precondition.

Mid-Year Campaign: Your Support is Needed Now.

Common Dreams is a small non-profit - Over 90% of the Common Dreams budget comes from reader support. No advertising; no paywalls: our content is free. But our costs are real. Common Dreams needs your help today! If you're a regular reader—or maybe a new one—and you haven't yet pitched in, could you make a contribution today? Because this is the truth: Readers, like you, keep us alive. Please make a donation now so we can continue to work for you.

Share This Article

More in: