Tuesday, November 17, 2009

U.S. 'dismayed' at Israel plan to build 900 homes in J'elm - While Netanyahu kept the moratorium since inuagration

(Haaretz).The White House responded angrily Tuesday to Israel's plan to build 900 new housing units beyond the Green Line in Jerusalem, despite specific objections from the U.S., saying that "we are dismayed."

In a statement, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs voiced the U.S.'s disappointment with "the Jerusalem Planning Committee's decision to move forward on the approval process for the expansion of Gilo in Jerusalem."

"At a time when we are working to relaunch negotiations," the White House spokesman went on to say, "these actions make it more difficult for our efforts to succeed. Neither party should engage in efforts or take actions that could unilaterally pre-empt, or appear to pre-empt, negotiations."

"The U.S. also objects to other Israeli practices in Jerusalem related to housing, including the continuing pattern of evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes," the statement continued.

"Our position is clear: the status of Jerusalem is a permanent status issue that must be resolved through negotiations between the parties," he added.

To note:Since his inauguration, Netanyahu did not approve a single significant construction project in settlement. In a very welcome change, a 900-housing unit project is approved in Gilo, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.