Israel unveils plans for 3,000 more settlement homes a day after UN votes to recognise Palestine
The development will be built in occupied East Jerusalem and the West BankThe Palestinian Authority says they will not resume pace talks until building stopsPA says the construction will cut the West Bank in two
20:21 GMT, 30 November 2012
Israel has revealed plans to build 3,000 more settlement homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank just one day after the UN voted to recognise a Palestinian state.
In response, the Palestinian Authority says they will not resume peace talks until the building is stopped.
Today, the UN General Assembly agreed to recognise Palestine as a non-member observer state allowing the country to take part in UN debates and potentially join bodies such as the International Criminal Court.
Since celebration: Palestinians celebrate as the UN General Assembly agrees to recognise a Palestinian state as Israel reveals plans to build 3,000 settlement homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank
The Palestinians are firmly opposed to the construction and say that the development will cut the West Bank in half, preventing the formation of a joining Palestinian state.
Some of the units have been reported to be built between Jerusalem and the Maale Adumim settlement according to the Israeli Haaretz newspaper.
Constructing communities: Israel revealed plans to build 3,000 more settlement homes and accelerating the planning process for another 1,000 (pictured is a construction site in the West Bank Jewish settlement in 2011)
Opposed to work: The Palestinians are firmly opposed to construction, arguing that it will cut the West Bank in half, preventing the formation of a joining Palestinian state (stock picture in East Jerusalem in 2011)
Jubilant: Members of the Palestinian delegation and others join Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by applauding during a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly after the vote
Israel is also said to be accelerating the processing of planning permission for another 1,000 such housing units.
Worthless: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the vote is meaningless
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu called the speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to
the General Assembly shortly before the vote ‘defamatory and venomous,’
saying it was ‘full of mendacious propaganda’ against Israel.
Netanyahu called the vote meaningless.
Mark Regev, an Israeli government spokesman, said earlier today that the UN vote was a ‘negative political theatre’ that would ‘hurt peace’.
But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said this was the 'last chance to save the two-state solution' with Israel.
Since the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, some 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements. The communities are considered illegal under international law but Israel challenges this.
Israel still controls the West Bank, east Jerusalem and access to Gaza, and it accused the Palestinians of bypassing negotiations with the campaign to upgrade their U.N. status.
Peace talks have been conducted between Israel and the Palestinian Authority intermittently over the last 20 years but with no permanent solution.
The most recent peace talks halted in January after several months of ‘proximity talks’ made no progress.
Agreement: The United Nations General Assembly has agreed to recognise a Palestinian state