Less than 24 hrs after the UN General Assembly recognizes Palestine as non-member state, gov’t’s top 9 ministers respond by approving construction of new housing units in Jerusalem & West Bank.
Canada says they will review its whole relationship with the Palestinian Authority
Israel responds to Palestinian move at UN:Israel decided Thursday to approve the construction of an additional 3,000 housing units in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
In addition, the planning procedures of thousands of additional housing units in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs will be furthered, including in the segment connecting Ma’ale Adumim with Jerusalem, known as the E1 project.
State officials said Israel was considering further moves in response to the United Nations General Assembly’s recognition of Palestine as an observer state.
The decision was made by the government’s top nine ministers. A state official said the continuation of construction was done in accordance with the map of Israel’s strategic interests.
On the eve of the UN vote, the political echelon had planned to practice restraint over the Palestinian move, particularly so as not to make the world turn on Israel, but state officials said that in light of the talk of a diplomatic failure and the fact that the country is in the midst of an election campaign, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu found it difficult to avoid a significant response.
Eventually, the prime minister decided to order a massive construction boom in settlements and Jerusalem neighborhoods located beyond the Green Line.
In earlier discussions on the proper Israeli response to the move, senior sources warned that a decision to build in the settlements would be interpreted by the international community as a measure of punishment against the Palestinians.
They suggested that Netanyahu wait so that the UN vote would not be linked to the decision to build in the settlements, but Netanyahu chose to respond immediately rather than wait.
Itamar Eichner is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent
Attila Somfalvi and The Associated Press contributed to this report
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