The Palestinian Authority issued a swift condemnation on Tuesday for the approved construction in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, calling it an obstacle to the peace process.

Earlier Tuesday, the Jerusalem District Committee for Planning and Construction approved tenders for 1,100 housing units in Gilo.

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Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Radina told Ma'an News Agency that the move was a unilateral effort on the part of the Israeli government to undermine Palestinian efforts to create a state with east Jerusalem as its capital.


The PA Prime Minister's Office also released a statement on the matter, criticizing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for "creating pre-conditions on the ground," despite Netanyahu's call for renewed peace talks without pre-conditions.

On Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Jerusalem Post the Palestinian Authority uses the settlement issue, and specifically a settlement freeze, as a "ruse to avoid direction negotiations."

At the same time, efforts in the Knesset to annex the settled parts of Judea and Sumeria in response to the Palestinian Authority's unilateral statehood bid at the United Nations is gaining traction, with four faction heads heads co-penning a letter to the prime minister urging him to consider annexation.

The Palestinian Authority has urged the international community to condemn the Israeli construction in Gilo.

Herb Keinon and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.

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