After the announcement of an east Jerusalem building plan during US Vice President Joe Biden's visit was heavily criticized on Wednesday, Interior Minister Eli Yishai told Army Radio that the timing was simply a technical matter, which was not discussed with him or with other senior ministry officials.
"The approval is a purely technical matter and we have no intention of insulting or seeking a confrontation with the US vice president," Yishai said of the filing of the plan to build 1,600 housing units in the northeastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.
In an interview with Israel Radio, Yishai said that he regretted the timing of the decision, adding that if he had known about the matter he would have recommended that the announcement be delayed by a week or two.
However, the minister went on to say that he does not plan to cancel the building plan, because the government's construction freeze in the territories does not apply to Jerusalem.
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