Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat on Monday accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of working to sabotage peace talks by approving the building of 1,300 new homes in east Jerusalem, AFP reported.

"We thought that Netanyahu was going to the US to stop settlement activity and restart negotiations but it is clear to us that he is determined to destroy the talks," Erakat told AFP.

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"He has shut all the doors to negotiations and we hold him responsible for destroying them," Erakat continued.

Erakat was responding to an Interior Ministry announcement earlier on Monday saying that it is moving ahead with plans to build 1,300 new apartments in east Jerusalem.

The announcement comes as Netanyahu is visiting the US and Washington is already frustrated over his refusal to curb settlement construction.

Palestinians condemned the plans saying that they want east Jerusalem for a future capital.

The government plans to expand the Har Homa neighborhood by 978 apartments and to build 320 new apartments in the Ramot neighborhood.

Monday's announcement comes a day after Netanyahu met with Vice President Joe Biden. Biden earlier this year expressed his concerns over new building projects after Israel announced construction plans in east Jerusalem while the vice president was visiting.

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