Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement Tuesday responding to criticism by the United States over Israel’s plan to build 1,300 new homes in East Jerusalem, emphasizing that Israel is doing nothing to harm the peace process.
“Jerusalem isn’t a settlement – Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” the statement by the Prime Minister’s Office read. “Israel has never put any sort of limits on construction in Jerusalem, where some 800,000 people reside, and didn’t do so during the 10-month settlement freeze in the West Bank either.”
The statement was referring to a temporary moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements declared by Netanyahu last November. The moratorium expired late last month, bringing recently renewed direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians to a halt.