Israel has reportedly put on hold the construction settlements that require approvals from district planning committee in al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Staff members of Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee said they have been ordered to stop settlement work in all parts of al-Quds for more than a month, Ha’aretz reported Monday.
Citing the committee’s architects, the report said the freeze on settlement work is linked with the tension in Tel Aviv-Washington relations.
Ties between the two allies deteriorated after Israel announced a plan to build 1,600 new housing units in East al-Quds, during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden, who was aiming to promote indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
However, district committee chairwoman Ruth Yosef is reportedly refusing to sign off on plans that have already been approved.
The local planning committee, which builds small-scale projects, is not affected by the reported freeze.
However, in a statement released by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, he reiterated that there has been no change in the construction policy in the city.
"In the course of drawing lessons from the incident at the time of US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, procedure is currently being developed that will ensure that an incident such as this is not repeated with respect to the timing of the release of proceedings of diplomatic sensitivity," said the statement.
Israel has repeatedly vowed to continue with its plans in the occupied East al-Quds, claiming the holy city as its "eternal, indivisible" capital.