Israel Planning 15,000 More Homes in Eastern Yerushalayim

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -
Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, East Jerusalem
Buildings under construction in the Yerushalayim neighborhood of Ramot in January. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun/File)

Israel intends to build 15,000 new homes in eastern Yerushalayim, the Housing Ministry said, despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s request to “hold back” on such projects as part of a possible new push for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

A formal announcement of the settlement plan, quickly condemned by the chief Palestinian negotiator, could come around the time Trump is scheduled to visit Israel next month.

Housing Minister Yoav Galant told Israel Radio on Friday that his ministry and the Yerushalayim Municipality had been working on the plan for two years, with proposals for 25,000 units, 15,000 of which would be in eastern Yerushalayim.

“We will build 10,000 units in Yerushalayim and some 15,000 within the (extended) municipal boundaries of Yerushalayim. It will happen,” he said.

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief negotiator, said Israel’s move was a systematic violation of international law and a “deliberate sabotage” of efforts to resume talks.

Channel 2 News said a formal announcement on building could be made on “Yom Yerushalayim,” the day Israel celebrates its capture of the eastern part of the city. This year, it falls on May 24.