Erekat condemns new Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem

PA chief negotiator says Ma'aleh Hazeitim dedication represents the Israeli gov't "implementing its vision for the destruction of a two-state solution."

erekat raise the roof REUTERS 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
erekat raise the roof REUTERS 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat on Thursday condemned the inauguration of a new Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem which was attended by several Israeli officials, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar and Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan attended the dedication ceremony of the second stage of the Ma’aleh Hazeitim neighborhood on Wednesday night, which celebrated 60 new apartments in the Jewish compound located in the heart of the Arab neighborhood of Ras el-Amud in the capital’s southeast.
RELATED:’In times of revolution, opinion surveys are more accurate’Ashton: New Gilo housing is 'an obstacle to peace'
“The Israeli government is implementing its vision for the destruction of a two-state solution presented by Prime Minister Netanyahu to the American Congress,” said Erekat. "This settlement is not only another obstacle to returning to negotiations, but it also raises tensions, institutionalizes discrimination, and brings those with extremist beliefs in close proximity to Palestinian residential areas,” he added.
Erekat called on the international community to act "so that Israel will understand that the creation of its facts on the ground can never make legal what is a war crime under international law. We call on all peace-loving countries that have not recognized the Palestinian state on the 1967 border to do so now.”
Ma’aleh Hazeitim is one the largest Jewish complexes in Arab neighborhoods, with 110 units. The 50 units in the first stage of apartments were finished nine years ago. The new apartments are selling for between NIS 1.6 million and NIS 7m. for the two-floor penthouses.
Melanie Lidman contributed to this report