The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem, which was captured by Israel in 1967, as the capital of a future state. While Israel considers east Jerusalem as part of its capital, the U.S. and most of the international community consider such construction projects to be illegal settlements.
|Al-shejaeiya Neighbourhood (---), 28/09/2014.- Palestinians sit around a fire next to their destroyed houses in Al-Shaejaeiya neighbourhood in the east of Gaza City, 28 September 2014. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed for New York on 28 September to respond to accusations by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that Israel committed 'genocide' in Gaza. (Incendio) EFE/EPA/MOHAMMED SABER|
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a striking public rebuke, the Obama administration warned Israel on Wednesday that plans for a controversial new housing project in east Jerusalem would distance Israel from "even its closest allies" and raise questions about its commitment to seeking peace with Palestinians.
The new 2,500 unit project that stoked U.S. anger is contentious because it would complete a band of Jewish areas that separate Jerusalem from nearby Bethlehem. The U.S. has repeatedly criticized Israeli construction in east Jerusalem, casting it as damaging to efforts to secure an elusive peace accord with the Palestinians.
The White House also condemned what it called the recent occupation of residential buildings in Silwan, an Arab neighborhood in east Jerusalem where several hundred hard-line Israeli settlers have moved in recent years. Earnest called the move was "provocative" and said it would "escalate tensions at a moment when those tensions have already been high."...READ MORE
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