The Jerusalem municipality agreed to the expansion of 2,000 Settlement homes in Ramat Shlomo in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday. The plan allows for each Settlement household to add an additional room, according to a council press statement. The Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak justified the construction in Ramat Schlomo to France 24 television network saying, “ there is no way to end construction since a half a million people are living in Ramat Shlomo.”

Ramat Shlomo is a large settlement composed mostly of ultra-orthodox Jews in Arab East Jerusalem. The settlement was built on land formerly occupied by Jordan until Israel captured it in the six-day war of 1967.

The Jerusalem Municipality approved the construction of 1600 settlement apartments in March 2010 in Ramat Shlomo. The approval of new settlement construction was announced shortly before US vice president Joe Biden came to Israel to initiate peace talks.

The international community considers settlements in East Jerusalem illegal under international law. The Palestinian Authority will not have peace-talks with Israel while settlements are still being built in the occupied territories.