Bethlehem – PNN - According to Israeli media, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu approved construction of 238 illegal housing units in the northeast Jerusalem neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramot, designed to be “as inconspicuous as possible.”
The construction, all of which falls on the Palestinian side of the Green Line, is comprised of 150 buildings in Ramot and another 80 in Pisgat Ze’ev. It was unclear from reports where the remainder of the illegal buildings would be built, but they were included in a list of 3,500 tenders approved by Netanyahu, most of which would be legal under international law, in Tel Aviv or Netanya.
East Jerusalem has not seen an approved building tender since Netanyahu’s diplomatic row with US Vice President Joe Biden in March, when 1,600 residential units were approved despite the then-in-effect settlement freeze.
The Palestinian response is not yet known, as Israeli media uncovered the decision on Thursday, but Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas has said the negotiations are on hold until Israel stands by its previous agreements to halt illegal settlements in the West Bank.