by Algemeiner Staff and Agencies
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tours the southern outskirts of Jerusalem, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu said on Thursday that thousands of new homes would be built in two areas of Jerusalem where construction has long been frozen due to international objections.
On a visit to the southern outskirts of Jerusalem on Thursday, Netanyahu — who is seeking re-election on March 2 — vowed that 3,000 new housing units would be built for Jews in the Givat Hamatos neighborhood and 2,200 in Har Homa Heh.
At the same time, 1,000 residences would be added for Arabs in nearby Beit Safafa.
Givat Hamatos and Har Homa Heh are located on lands Israel took control of from Jordan in the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed as part of Jerusalem.
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“We are connecting Jerusalem,” Netanyahu declared. “We are connecting all parts of the united Jerusalem, the rebuilt Jerusalem. It is a source of great pride and is great news for the entire people of Israel.”
The Israeli prime minister’s comments were condemned by the Palestinians.
“Netanyahu’s insistence on building thousands of settlement units is the systematic destruction of the two-state solution and the implementation of the Trump plan,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh — a spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas — charged, referring to the recently-unveiled US Middle East peace initiative.
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