Israel to build hundreds of new homes in east Jerusalem

Housing Minister Zeev Boim is planning to build hundreds of new homes for Israelis in east Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as the capital of the state they wish to establish. Boim spokesman Eran Sidis said 763 housing units will go up in Pisgat Ze'ev and 121 housing units in Har Homa. Both are large Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, annexed by Israel in 1967. Israel and the Palestinians are holding peace talks that include discussions on the future of east Jerusalem. Israel says it will retain Jewish neighborhoods there under any agreement. But Palestinians say new construction badly compromises the talks. Sunday's announcement brings to over 2,000 the number of new east Jerusalem housing units launched by Israel's Housing Ministry since negotiations resumed late last year.