Peace talks resumed in Jerusalem

Palestinians express outrage over expansion of Har Homa; both parties to meet in Paris next week.

The first formal Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in seven years got off to a rocky start Wednesday, with the Palestinians lambasting Israel for a new construction project planned in east Jerusalem, a Palestinian official said. The Palestinians have said that newly announced Israeli plans to build more than 300 apartments in the Har Homa neighborhood threatened to undermine the talks. The Palestinians hope to establish the capital of an independent state in east Jerusalem. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said his delegation "introduced the issue of Har Homa and expressed our outrage." "If you want to restore the credibility of the peace process, the Israeli government must revoke this order," he added. Erekat said the Israelis raised concerns about security issues, including ongoing rocket attacks out of the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials were not immediately available for comment. Erekat said there were no immediate plans to meet again. He said Israeli and Palestinian officials would both attend a conference in Paris next week where donors are expected to pledge aid to the Palestinians. "After Paris, we will contact each other to see where we take it from there."