Palestinian workers build settlement home in Kedumim 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Nir Elias)
Germany criticized Israel on Monday for plans to build 1,028 new
settlement buildings in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, DPA reported.
government spokesman Georg Streiter said that Israel's announcement was
"devastating" and that it "undermines belief in Israel's willingness to
negotiate." Berlin appealed for Israel to stop expansion of Jewish
settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, according to DPA.
US, UN, EU condemn ‘accelerated’ W. Bank Jewish building
PA, opposition decry West Bank building decision
Streiter's remarks follow Israel's announcement on Sunday that it plans
to issue tenders to build 1,028 Jewish homes in east Jerusalem and two West Bank settlements.
The tenders will be
issued for: 348 homes in the Betar Illit settlement in Gush Etzion, less
than half a kilometer past the pre-1967 line; 180 homes in the Givat Ze’ev
settlement, located north of Jerusalem, 4.9 km. over the pre-1967 Green
Line; and 500 homes in Har Homa, a Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem.
activists view Har Homa as one of the most controversial Jewish
neighborhoods in the capital, because it was founded after the Oslo
Accords were signed and because it creates a barrier of Jewish homes
between east Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods and Bethlehem.
City Councilor Elisha Peleg (Likud), who sits on the Local Planning and
Construction Committee, welcomed the planned apartments, which would
solve part of the housing shortage for young couples, recently released
soldiers and working families, he said.
“There are no apartments here and it’s a good thing they’re building
everywhere in Jerusalem, there’s no difference if it is over an
historical line or not,” he said.
Netanyahu’s government has always insisted it has a right to build in Jerusalem.
Palestinians have refused to negotiate with Israel until it halts Jewish
building in east Jerusalem and West Bank settlement activity.
Tovah Lazaroff and Melanie Lidman contributed to this report.