Israel OKs More Work in Jerusalem

Netanyahu 'spit into Obama's eye, this time up close,' says critic
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 24, 2010 4:27 PM CDT
A hotel in East Jerusalem. The new project calls for tearing down the hotel and building 20 apartments.   (BERNAT ARMANGUE)
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(Newser) – The Jerusalem municipality has approved 20 new apartments for Jews in an Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem, in a move that could stir a new diplomatic crisis with the US just as Israel's leader is in Washington on a fence-mending visit. The announcement marked the second time this month that Israel has announced new construction in the disputed section of the holy city during face-to-face meetings between top US and Israeli officials.

The Obama administration is seeking "clarification" of the latest building plan and continues to believe Israeli construction in Jerusalem is destructive to the Mideast peace process. Israeli lawmaker Eitan Cabel accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of unnecessarily provoking the US. "Netanyahu decided to spit into Obama's eye, this time from up close. He and his pyromaniac ministers insist on setting the Middle East ablaze."

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