The Israeli municipality controlling the occupied city of Jerusalem approved 7300 new housing units to be added to five Israeli settlements located inside and around the city of Jerusalem.The announcement was made by the Mayor of the Israeli municipality, Youri Lewinski during an interview he made with the Israeli TV Channel 2 on Tuesday evening.

Lewinski said that 3000 units will be added to Gilo settlement inside Jerusalem and around 1700 will be added to Bisgat Za’iv settlement, 1000 to Harhuma settlement 1200 in Ramot settlement and 400 in Navih Yakov settlement.

Israeli media sources stated that the new construction order was made by the settlement planning committee and the Israeli Jerusalem municipality; the sources added that the Israeli Prime Minister Ehod Olmert was not informed of this plan and he was forced to accept it as a reality.

The Israeli government had pledged late November 2007 during the one day Annapolis conference that took place in Maryland USA, to halt settlement activity and stop all attacks on the Palestinians in order to make room for the political process.

At the Annapolis conference both the Israeli Prime Minister Ehod Olmert and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agreed to re-launch the talks which have broken down to reach a peace agreement by end of 2008. The talks are based on the US sponsored Road Map Peace Plan of 2003, which states that Israel must stop its settlement activity in Palestinian areas and halt attacks against Palestinians, in return the Palestinian Authority will stop resistance attacks against Israeli.

Lately US Administration has condemned the Israeli decision of continuing to expand and build settlements and urged the Israeli government to commit to the Road Map Peace Plan.

There are 200,000 Israeli settlers that live in 12 settlements inside and around the city of Jerusalem in a settlement that was constructed by Israel after occupying the city in 1967.