Is­rael can­cels vote on new set­tle­ments

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By REUTERS in Jerusalem

Jerusalem’s city hall can­celed a vote on Wed­nes­day on ap­pli­ca­tions to build nearly 500 new homes for Is­raelis in East Jerusalem, a mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cial said, plans that had drawn US crit­i­cism in a rag­ing dis­pute over set­tle­ments.

The pro­posed set­tle­ment is part of build­ing ac­tiv­ity that the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil de­manded an end to on Fri­day, a res­o­lu­tion that a US ab­sten­tion made pos­si­ble.

Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu re­quested the de­ci­sion be put off, said Jerusalem Plan­ning and Hous­ing Com­mit­tee mem­ber Hanan Ru­bin, hours be­fore US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry is to give a speech lay­ing out his vi­sion for end­ing the Is­raeli-Pales­tinian con­flict.

Ru­bin said 492 per­mits for con­struc­tion of homes for Is­raelis in the ur­ban set­tle­ments of Ramot and Ra­mat Shlomo, in ar­eas that Is­rael cap­tured in a 1967 war and an­nexed to Jerusalem, had been up for ap­proval.

The United States on Fri­day broke with a long-stand­ing ap­proach of diplo­mat­i­cally shield­ing Is­rael and ab­stained on the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion, which passed with 14 coun­tries in fa­vor and none against.

Kerry was sched­uled to dis­cuss the ab­sten­tion when he speaks at the State Depart­ment, a se­nior US State Depart­ment of­fi­cial said.

Is­rael has for decades pur- sued a pol­icy of build­ing Jewish set­tle­ments on oc­cu­pied territory Pales­tini­ans seek for a state.

Most coun­tries view the set­tle­ments as an ob­sta­cle to peace. Is­rael dis­agrees, cit­ing a bib­li­cal, his­tor­i­cal and po­lit­i­cal con­nec­tion to the land, as well as se­cu­rity in­ter­ests. Wash­ing­ton con­sid­ers the set­tle­ment ac­tiv­ity il­le­git­i­mate.

Some 570,000 Is­raelis live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem among more than 2.6 mil­lion Pales­tini­ans.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.