EU, UN call on Israel to stop Har Homa construction

International community slams Israel after publication of tenders for 130 new units in Jerusalem neighborhood.

Har Homa neighborhood of Jerusalem 370 (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
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 summer.
“Settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible,” Ashton’s office said.
UN 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 Ofran.
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.