Answer: According to media reports, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the construction of over 1,000 housing units in East Jerusalem. It has also been reported that Israel plans to build several thousand housing units in the West Bank.
Israel’s plans to build more housing in the occupied Palestinian territories contradict international law and are deeply alarming. We are especially concerned about housing plans for East Jerusalem, which holds special status as a holy city for the three monotheistic religions. Therefore, any rash unilateral actions regarding this could have far-reaching consequences. These housing plans, if implemented, would not only disrupt the territorial continuity of Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, but could also provoke a new round of Palestinian-Israeli tensions.
In this connection, we are urging the Israeli authorities to review their construction plans for the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. At this difficult stage of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, the sides should do their utmost to prevent any aggravation, but, on the contrary, try to defuse the current unfavourable situation by taking reciprocal steps based on respect for international law.