Israel OKs 1.2K New Settlement Homes
As peace talks are supposed to re-start in 3 days
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 11, 2013 5:46 AM CDT
In this Monday, Sept. 7, 2009 file photo, an Israeli flag is seen in front of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim on the outskirts of Jerusalem.   (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

(Newser) – Israel's housing minister has given final approval to construct nearly 1,200 apartments in Jewish settlements, just three days before Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are to resume in Jerusalem. Today's announcement said the new homes would be built in settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in 1967. The Palestinians want to establish their state in those areas, as well as the Gaza Strip. Housing Minister Uri Ariel said nearly 800 apartments will be built in east Jerusalem and nearly 400 in several large West Bank settlements.

There was no immediate Palestinian comment, though the announcement was bound to deepen the atmosphere of distrust as the two sides head into talks after a five-year freeze. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had long insisted he would not resume talks without an Israeli settlement freeze. In the end, he relented under intense US pressure. Still, he's made clear he won't tolerate the presence of "a single Israeli" in a Palestinian state. Meanwhile, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu underwent successful hernia surgery yesterday, reports the AP; he's expected to be released from the hospital today.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 95 comments
VooDoo
Aug 12, 2013 6:38 PM CDT
Israel should be a glowing smoking hole
apocalypso
Aug 12, 2013 10:04 AM CDT
oh, Israel pretends to be open to peace talks, but makes a blatant effort to offend and undermine the talks just prior to the start? how very typical. they really want peace, obviously.
Johnny_ReduxII
Aug 12, 2013 6:37 AM CDT
OK Zionists, run a few more stupid fake 'holocaust' movies and stories, to get the stupid goyim to accept your attrocities in Palestine.