(JNS.org) The U.S. and the Palestinians on Wednesday both condemned the Jerusalem municipality local planning committee’s approval of construction permits for 768 new residential units, including some units in neighborhoods located beyond the 1967 lines.
“Our position on Jerusalem is clear,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. “We oppose any unilateral actions by either party that attempt to prejudge final status issues, including the status of Jerusalem. We’ve called on both sides to take steps to create a positive atmosphere for the [current Israeli-Palestinian conflict] negotiations.”
Saeb Erekat—the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator in the U.S.-brokered talks—said, “The international community must hold Israel accountable for this policy.”
The Jerusalem neighborhoods included in the new Israeli construction plans include Har Homa, Sur Baher, Neve Yaakov, Beit Safafa, Pisgat Ze’ev, and Jabel Mukaber. In a statement, the Jerusalem municipality said it “opposes all attempts to halt the legitimate right of every resident to get a construction permit and will continue building in all of the city’s neighborhoods for Jews and Arabs alike.”