Har Homa neighborhood of Jerusalem 370.
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
The EU and the UN on Wednesday called on Israel to stop Jewish building in east
Jerusalem in response to the publication last week of tenders for 130 new units
in the Har Homa neighborhood.
“The EU has repeatedly urged the government
of Israel to immediately end all settlement activities in the West Bank,
including in east Jerusalem,” the office of EU foreign policy chief Catherine
Ashton said in a statement it released to the media. It noted that their office
had already spoken out against plans for these units last
“Settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to
make a two-state solution impossible,” Ashton’s office said.
Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman also spoke out
against the tenders, which the Construction and Housing Ministry published on
its website Thursday.
He told the UN Security Council in New York Monday
that such building prejudices the outcome of any negotiated settlement between
the two sides and must be halted.
According to Hagit Ofran of Peace Now,
the ministry has published 1,002 tenders for Har Homa housing this year. These
latest tenders bring the total to 1,132 new units in Har Homa, according to
On Tuesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said,
“there will be no peace or stability before our beloved city and eternal capital
is liberated from occupation and settlement.”
He has insisted that he
will not negotiate with Israel until it halts settlement construction and Jewish
building in east Jerusalem. Israel, however, has insisted that it has a right to
build in Jerusalem, which it believed is the eternal and united capital of the
Jewish people. It has repeatedly called for the Palestinians to return to the
negotiating table without preconditions.
A ministry official said that
the project has been in the news a number of times, at different approval
stages, and that each time the international community has condemned it.