Israel plans to build some 3,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem and West Bank settlements in response to the Palestinians' successful bid for recognition at the UN General Assembly this week, a senior diplomatic source told Haaretz on Friday.
- Who voted for the Palestinian upgrade at the UN? Who against?
- Israel suffers humiliating defeat at UN
- In historic vote, Palestine becomes non-member UN state with observer status
- U.S. condemns Israel's settlement expansion plan in Jerusalem, West Bank
- At Saban Forum, Lieberman accuses Abbas of Palestinian disunity
- East Jerusalem project could bury two-state solution
- Olmert: Settlement construction in Area E-1 is 'slap in the face' of Obama
- Europe threatens to withdraw support for Israel over settlement building plans
- Q&A: What is area E-1, anyway?
- Palestinians to launch 6-month initiative to restart talks with Israel
- EU mulling ways to press Israel to ditch settlement expansion plan
- West Bank Palestinians strike in protest of Israeli sanctions
According to the source, Israel also plans to advance long-frozen plans for the E1 area, which covers an area that links the city of Jerusalem with the settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim.
If built, the controversial plan would prevent territorial contiguity between the northern and southern West Bank, making it difficult for a future Palestinian state to function.
In the beginning of his term, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the Obama administration a commitment that Israel would not build in the area. Both of his predecessors, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert, also promised the U.S. administration that Israel would not build in E1.
The source said Israel would advance building plans for another several thousand housing units in settlement blocs in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, while weighing additional measures.
He added that the construction would be carried out according to the map of Israel's strategic interests.
In a historic session of the United Nations in New York Thursday, exactly 65 years after passing the Partition Plan for Palestine, the General Assembly voted by a huge majority to recognize Palestine within the 1967 borders as a non-member state with observer status in the organization. Some 138 countries voted in favor of the resolution, 41 abstained and 9 voted against: Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, U.S., Panama, The Marshall Islands, Palau, Nauru, and Micronesia.
Following the vote, U.S. UN envoy Susan Rice said the resolution does not establish Palestine as state, that it prejudges the outcome of negotiations, and ignores questions of security.