Report says 3,000 new Jewish homes for Jerusalem in 2011 13Nov10 November 14, 2010

Ma’an News Agency -  13 November 2010

Israel plans to put up for sale 3,000 new Jewish homes in Jerusalem next year, including in Arab areas, a municipality official was quoted as saying by the weekly Israeli newspaper Kol Hair.

Shlomo Eshkol, an engineer appointed by the Jerusalem municipality, also spoke of a long-term project to build 50,000 homes in Jerusalem during the next decade, Kol Hair said in its latest edition.

Eshkol said the allocation of 3,000 new Jerusalem homes in 2011 included the areas that were illegally annexed by Israel in the 1980s, after the eastern part of the city was occupied in 1967.

The plans were announced during a meeting between Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat and a group of 60 Israeli developers, the report said.

The homes would be available in west Jerusalem’s Jewish neighborhoods of Arnona and Ramat Rachel, as well as the east Jerusalem districts of Givat Hamatos and Har Homa, the latter built on lands belonging to the Bethlehem municipality in the West Bank.

Despite international refusal to recognize East Jerusalem as part of Israeli territory, the country sees all of Jerusalem as its “eternal, undivided” capital and does not consider construction in East Jerusalem to be settlement activity.

The Palestinians want to make the east — home to some 200,000 Jewish Israelis and 268,000 Palestinians — the capital of their future state.

Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and in Jerusalem is the main cause blocking peace talks the pursuit of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks which tentatively resumed in September.

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