Israel plans 1,300 new buildings in east Jerusalem

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is due in Israel late on Saturday for a two-day trip.

Israel plans 1,300 new buildings in east Jerusalem

An Israeli planning body has given the green light for 1,300 new buildings for Jewish settlers to be built in occupied and annexed east Jerusalem, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Friday.

The houses will be built in Ramat Shlomo in the northern part of the Holy City where there are already 2,000 settler buildings, it said.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat expressed outrage at the decision.

"We firmly condemn this project which reveals the Israeli government's intention to destroy peace," Erakat said.

"The international community must make Israel stop its settlement activity if it wants to give peace negotiations a chance."

On June 2, after Israel announced plans to construct 884 more houses in east Jerusalem, the White House warned that building such settlements "exacerbates the tensions" with the Palestinians.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is due in Israel late on Saturday for a two-day trip.

Little progress has been made so far, with the thorny settlements issue one of the major bones of contention.

Reuters

Last Mod: 13 Haziran 2008, 17:39
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