JERUSALEM – Israel has announced it will go ahead with plans to build more than 1,200 new homes in east Jerusalem. Palestinians say the move will make a future Palestinian state impossible as it will divide between Bethlehem and east Jerusalem. The Israeli announcement could cause tension between Israel and the administration of U.S. president-elect Joe Biden. Israel announced bids for more than 1,200 homes in an area called Givat Hamatos, which is beyond the 1967 border. Israel says it is a neighborhood of Jerusalem, but Palestinians say it is a Jewish settlement built on land Israel occupied in 1967. The bids are due in by January 18, just two days before President-elect Biden is due to take office. Brian Reeves of the Israeli group Peace Now which opposes settlement expansion says U.S. policy under Biden could change. “We expect that under the Biden Administration you won’t see nearly as many settlement approvals as you saw under the Trump Administration,” he said. “But understand there is a spike in settlement plan approvals and we’re going to see that construction, the beginning of that construction in the next four years.” European Union officials condemned the Israeli plans, saying they would make… Read full this story
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