Israel has approved the construction of 130 settler units in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), defying international calls for freezing illegal settlement projects.
The Local Planning and Building Committee said on Monday that the new units are planned to be built between Gilo and Beit Safafa in East al-Quds, Ynet news reported.
The ongoing Israeli settlement construction issue put an end to the US-sponsored direct talks between Tel Aviv and the Palestinian Authority.
Israelis have begun the construction of almost 2,000 new settler units in the occupied Palestinian territories since the end of Tel Aviv’s 10-month partial settlement freeze in late September.
In an effort to persuade Tel Aviv to extend the freeze, the US agreed to give 20 F-35 fighters to Israel and to veto any anti-Israeli resolution at the United Nations Security Council in exchange for a three-month settlement freeze.
Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas has announced that he will not return to the talks unless Tel Aviv completely freezes settlement activities.
Palestinians argue that the settlement construction is aimed at preventing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
Israel’s settlement construction contravenes UN Security Council Resolutions 446, 452, and 465.
Israel occupied al-Quds and the West Bank in the 1967 war and later annexed them in a move not recognized by the international community and the United Nations.