Gov't approves plan to build additional 1,300 homes in east Jerusalem

Israel on Friday confirmed plans to build 1,300 more apartments in east Jerusalem, immediately drawing the ire of Palestinians. Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Hadad said new apartments were approved for construction in the haredi Ramat Shlomo neighborhood to help alleviate a housing shortage in Jerusalem. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was furious. "We firmly condemn this project, which reveals the Israeli government's intention to destroy peace," he said. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev said, "Israel makes a clear distinction between Jerusalem and the West Bank."