Washington Stresses Opposition to Construction

As expected, the United States condemns Israel's approval of new homes for Jews in Jerusalem.

Ben Ariel ,

Construction in Jerusalem (illustrative)
Construction in Jerusalem (illustrative)
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

In what has become somewhat routine, the United States on Wednesday condemned Israel’s latest approval of construction in Jerusalem.

According to Reuters, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke stressed Washington's "clear and consistent opposition to construction activity in East Jerusalem."

"During this sensitive time in Jerusalem, we would see such activity as inconsistent with the goal of lower tensions and seeking a path toward peace," he added.

The latest criticism from Washington was made after the Jerusalem municipality approved the construction of 78 new homes for Jews in Jerusalem.

Municipal spokeswoman Brachie Sprung said 50 homes will be built in Har Homa and 28 in Ramot.

Over the past several weeks, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave instructions for the building of about 660 homes in Ramat Shlomo and about 400 more in Har Homa as well as approving 2,610 building tenders from 2012 to be approved for full construction.

The Jerusalem municipality approved 200 additional homes last week. 

Previous announcements have also raised the ire of the United States, as well as of the European Union and of leftist groups.

In response, Jerusalem has stepped up its own defense of Jewish building in the capital, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman stressing Sunday that Israel “will never accept” the labels the international community has ascribed to the building project.

"One thing should be clear: we will never accept the definition of building in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem as settlement activity," Liberman said. "We won't accept any limitation on building in Jewish areas of (east) Jerusalem."



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