Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel to build 4,000 new Jerusalem homes despite opposition

Feb. 20 (UPI) — Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans Thursday to build thousands of new Jewish homes beyond the Green Line in Givat Hamatos, despite international opposition that stalled the move for nearly a decade.

Givat Hamatos is beyond the 1967 Green Line, which refers to the 1949 armistice lines drawn up between Israel and its neighbors after Israeli independence. It also marks territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Six Days War, including the West Bank, Golan Heights and Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu’s plan originated in 2012 but opponents argued it cut off Palestinian neighborhoods from the West Bank, violating a proposed two-state solution. The prime minister said 4,000 total units will be built on Givat Hamatos, including 3,000 for Jewish housing.

“We are going to build the Givat Hamatos neighborhood, we have removed all of the impediments,” Netanyahu said Thursday from the nearby Har Homa settlement that overlooks Givat Hamatos.

Netanyahu also announced plans for 2,200 more units, and said the goal is to connect all parts of a “united” Jerusalem.

“Today, I announce the establishment of Har Homa Heh, a neighborhood.”

Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh dismissed the announcement.

“Netanyahu’s insistence on building thousands of settlement units is the systematic destruction of the two-state solution and the implementation of the Trump plan,” he said.

The Peace Now Organization said Netanyahu’s move is a “cynical election exercise” ahead of the leadership vote in March, Israel’s third in less than a year.

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