East Jerusalem Construction FrozenApr 26th, 2010 | By Main Contributor | Category: Israel
Israeli officials are claiming that a week long freeze to review plans for new construction in East Jerusalem is only a bureaucratic issue and the construction will continue. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced criticism from his own party when the temporary freeze was announced Monday morning. Several leaders of his party warned that the government could collapse over the issue if the freeze was anything more than just temporary.
Benjamin Netanyahu has not explained his intentions about the freeze, but committees that deal with construction issues are currently not meeting. The committees typically meet once a week and now have not met in months. The changes with the committees hints that the freeze may be more than temporary or longer than the week that has already been announced.
New construction in East Jerusalem has become a major issue between Israel and the U.S. recently. The U.S. is working furiously to bring the Israeli and Palestinian governments to the table to start peace talks. The Palestinian and the U.S. view Israel halting all new construction in disputed territories as the first place to start. Israel, however, has been increasing construction so they can claim more territory. If they ever do agree to peace talks, they will have settlements in those areas and will have successfully pushed the Palestinians out of those lands. Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 war. Peace talks have revolved around going back to the borders that Israel originally had before the war and returning the lands that Israel took during this period.