This isn’t going to help the prospects of peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
The Israeli Interior Ministry on Tuesday approved the construction of 1,100 new homes in an area of southern Jerusalem the state’s military captured during the 1967 Six-Day War.
The decision was met with swift condemnation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the Palestinian Authority, which maintains that the land seized by Israel is part of a future Palestinian state.
"He said at the United Nations he was giving his hand in peace but actually he is digging in the land to build more settlements," Palestinian negotiator Mohammed Shtayyeh told CNN, referring to Netanyahu's speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday. "It's a slap in the face of the Quartet and the whole international community, which is saying stop settlements."
The Middle East Quartet, which is made up of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia, urged the two parties on Friday to resume peace talks, although it remains unclear whether the negotiations will take place.
Perhaps pre-empting criticism from the U.S. over the decision to approve the construction, Netanyahu made clear he would not consider another settlement freeze, which his country already enacted for a ten-month period last year. "We already gave at the office," Netanyahu told the Jerusalem Post.