- Special Features
Blogs & Columns
- Fun & Games
On Friday, Israel announced plans to build 1,400 new Jewish settlement homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories that the Palestinians have claimed for a future state.
According to the Associated Press, Israel's housing ministry has said that 800 new houses will be built in the West Bank and 600 will be built in East Jerusalem.
Reuters notes that the published tenders come just days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the region to push for peace efforts with the Palestinians.
The tension between the Israelis and Palestinians through the years has been well-documented. The conflict began in the mid-20th century and the violence that has occurred between the two sides has prompted international actions and human rights concerns.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently issued similar construction announcements to curb the criticism he faces over the prison releases of Palestinians who were convicted of killing Israeli civilians and soldiers.
The AP notes that Israelis widely resent the release, as they view the prisoners as terrorists.
Saeb Erekat, a leading Palestinian negotiator in the peace process, said Israel's announcement was an indication of its "commitment to the destruction of peace efforts and the imposition of an apartheid regime. This Israeli government is openly displaying its true agenda. The announcement of yet more settlement units at this particular moment is a test for the US administration's ability to hold Israel accountable for actively sabotaging their efforts for peace.”