Urban Fold

Defying U.S., Israel Approves Controversial Housing Development

The Israeli announcement that 1,600 more housing units would be built in occupied East Jerusalem is causing a diplomatic crisis.

The Obama Administration is criticizing Israel's "unilateral" decision to approve 1,600 housing units in disputed East Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority is condemning the move, in advance of their own nationhood status bid at the United Nations. The Globe and Mail reports,

"The rebuff of the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama was jarring even by Israeli standards during the often tense Obama-Benjamin Netanyahu years. Some critics...suggest the Interior Minister is taking advantage of the current unrest in Israel over the high cost of housing in order to build housing – especially in religious neighbourhoods.

But Thursday's announcement, along with another statement that a further 2,700 settlement units soon would be approved, may make Washington rethink its approach" to its present stance on the Palestinian statehood bid.

Full Story: Israel defies U.S., approves another 1,600 settler homes near Jerusalem

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