Israel Approves Plan for 625 New Housing Units in East Jerusalem

Move comes despite wide international opposition to Israeli construction beyond the Green Line.

The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee announced Wednesday its plan to build 625 new housing units in the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

The move comes despite wide international opposition to Israel's construction in East Jerusalem, with U.S. President Barack Obama calling it 'unhelpful' to peace efforts.

The plan was approved by the committee over two years ago but was put on hold due to several faults in the plan. Once the specific problems were corrected the plan was brought before the public and approved.

Israel's last announcement of its plan to construct 1,300 new housing units in East Jerusalem drew harsh criticism from the United States, European Union, and the United Nations.

Pisgat Ze'ev, Tess Scheflan
Tess Scheflan

"This kind of activity is never helpful when it comes to peace negotiations," said Obama, adding that he was concerned Israel and Palestinian were not making enough of an effort to advance peace negotiations.