Israel’s TV, Channel 10, reported that Israel announced bids for the construction of 26 additional units for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem, especially in Abu Ghneim, and east of the Green Line inside the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem. The TV reported that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, did not tell the U.S. Vice President, Joe Biden, of this plan during their meeting.
The approval was made before Biden left Israel; 309 units are planned to be built in Neve Yacov, in East Jerusalem, and 117 units in Jabal Abu Gheim (Har Homa). The last day for accepting bids was last Wednesday.
Israel wants to build units and malls in Neve Yacov and the plan was already approved by Israel’s Housing Ministry.
The Ministry and the so-called Israel’s Land Authority, also approved the constructions in Har Homa.
Israeli Peace Now movement reported that the plan is intended to obstruct any separation between West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem, and also between Palestinian lands east of the Green Line.
The TV said that this plan is meant to create a new political reality the prevents any political settlement in occupied Jerusalem.
The United States denied reports of a political crisis with Israel due to Israel’s rejections to back down on its plans to build thousands on units for Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, stated Tuesday that her country wants to ensure a full Palestinian and Israeli commitment to the peace process.
Clinton added that the current crisis with Israel did not affect the Israeli-American strong ties and stated that U.S. Envoy, George Mitchell, will overcome the obstacles.
he office of Netanyahu claimed that the government wants to achieve peace with the Palestinians, and accused the Palestinian leadership of placing preconditions to the resumption of peace talks.
The office also claimed that Israel conducted several “acts of good will” such as removing roadblocks and “imposing a temporary freeze on settlement activities”.
The White House said that the current crisis with Israel will not affect the “strong and undisputed ties between Israel and Washington”.