News / Middle East

Israel Approves Settlements Before Kerry Visit

A construction worker works on a new housing unit in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa. (File)
A construction worker works on a new housing unit in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa. (File)
VOA News
Israel has announced plans to build dozens of housing units in an East Jerusalem settlement, a day before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry makes another push to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

A spokeswoman for the Jerusalem municipality of Brachie Sprung said city officials on Wednesday approved 69 units in the settlement of Har Homa.  She also said building permits were issued for 22 new homes in Arab neighborhoods of the city.

Kerry, who is on a visit to the Middle East, is scheduled to meet on Thursday in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and on Friday in the Jordanian capital, Amman, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli settlement construction has been a main stumbling block in Middle East peace talks, which have been at an impasse in recent years.

In Kuwait Wednesday, Kerry said Israeli and Palestinian leaders are committed to reviving peace talks, but he acknowledged that progress on the long-stalled negotiations will be difficult.

Kerry also said Netanyahu and Abbas both want the peace process to move forward.  The secretary of state said he would not be in the region now if he did not think reviving peace talks is possible.

Kerry has been shuttling between the Israelis and Palestinians in an attempt to restart talks.

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by: Asahi Hannah from: Japan
June 27, 2013 4:05 PM
fascinating little country with most beautiful people.
Israel, We love you!!

by: PermReader
June 27, 2013 9:50 AM
Anti-Israel public attitude is the American international broadcasting feature, as if the pro-Israel actions are the result of some(Zionist?) influence.So all friends(particularily Muslim ones) may hope that one day the Zionist influence will stop and America will act properly.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
June 27, 2013 9:33 AM
WE are working to revive talks, but nothing seems to be on ground to truly negotiate and bring peace to the warring peoples. Don't revive the talks, there has been a cease fire. What remains is an agreement to leave each other in peace. Let the Palestinians agree to leave Israel alone: there is no other trouble in the land except that the Arabs refuse to allow Israel be.

Are the Arabs prepared to let the people of Israel go? A war has been fought, there have been no victor no vanquished, hence the Palestinians remain to tell the story as well as Israel remembers what the younger generation should know about their history with their neighbors. The land in question has been known as the land of Israel since prehistory. Now that Israel has allowed their neighbors to take much of the land, I don't think they are about to agree that their capital be shared with them too, no matter how benevolent they are. And no people have done that in the past, except Israel wants to magnanimously set the precedence. WHICH SEEMS MOST UNLIKELY.

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