Thursday, June 13, 2013


Israeli housing minister confirms de-facto construction halt of east Jerusalem settlements

JERUSALEM, June 13 - Israeli Housing Minister on Thursday told Army Radio that there is a de-facto halt in Israel's construction of settlements in east Jerusalem.

Uri Ariel, a hawkish minister, one of the founders of the settlements and a settler, called the situation "very problematic. "

"The data speaks for itself," he said, adding that "There's no building in east Jerusalem at the moment. Questions regarding this issue should be directed at the Prime Minister's office."

Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's closest political allies also confirmed the news on Monday, calling it a "temporary hiatus."

However, according to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, in the West Bank, there are 865 housing that start to build at the first quarter of 2013 compared to 313 in the same period in 2012.

Moreover, the Israeli government is pushing forward plans to build 500 new housing units in the West Bank settlement of Bruchin.

In addition, Israeli media reported on Wednesday another plan to approve construction of 538 units in the settlement of Itamar in the West Bank.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians came to a halt in 2010 over Israel's ongoing construction of its West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements.

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