Israel's plan to build over 1,000 new homes for Jewish residents of Jerusalem is likely to cause an "explosion" of violence, a senior Palestinian Authority official threatened on Monday.
"Today (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu approved the building of 1,060 apartments in east Jerusalem ... Such unilateral acts will lead to an explosion," Jibril Rajoub of PA leader Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party told reporters at a news conference in Ramallah.
Earlier Monday, Netanyahu gave instructions for the building of about 660 homes in Ramat Shlomo, in northern Jerusalem, and about 400 more in Har Homa, in the capital's southern section. But Arab leaders and international groups often refer to any areas of the Israeli capital beyond the "Green Line" as "East Jerusalem".
In addition, he has given the go-ahead for infrastructure projects in Judea and Samaria that are needed for reasons of security and safety.
The move was first reported Sunday on Channel 2, and is seen as a bid to strengthen the alliance with the nationalist wing of the coalition. It reportedly follows a meeting between Netanyahu and Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett, who has threatened to destabilize the coalition if the unofficial - but very real - building freeze is not ended.
According to the report, Bennett told Netanyahu that it is obvious that neither Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) nor Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) want elections at this time, and that this situation should be exploited for construction in Judea and Samaria
AFP contributed to this report.