Israel to build new houses in annexed East Jerusalem

A ministerial spokesman says Israel plans to build some 2,700 apartments in the disputed East Jerusalem. The move is bound to cause a protest from Palestinians. They plan to claim the area as their new capital if the UN gives them statehood.

Roi Lachmanovich said Thursday the Israeli interior minister plans to authorize construction of 2,700 more apartments in east Jerusalem in the next few days, reports AP.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet already approved building of 1,600 apartments earlier last year, causing a diplomatic rift between Israel an the US.

Israel has controlled East Jerusalem since the 1967 Six Day War, although the international community never recognized the annexation as legitimate.

The issue of new settlements in occupied areas is one of the biggest points of conflict between Israel and Palestine. It helps lower housing prices in Israel and lowers economic pressure on the public. The economic slowdown recently provoked mass rallies in Israel, which were the biggest in decades.

But it also causes protests from Palestinians and disproval from other nations, who say such moves only make the Middle-Eastern conflict worse and harms the peace process.

Palestinians hope to win UN General Assembly approval for the creation of a Palestinian state in September.

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