U.S. Issues Latest Criticism of Israeli Construction in Jerusalem
JNS.org – The United States issued its latest criticism of Israeli construction in the Jewish state’s capital of Jerusalem following the preliminary approval of plans to build 200 new housing units in the neighborhood of Ramot, which is located beyond the 1949 armistice line.
“We are deeply concerned by this decision, particularly given the tense situation in Jerusalem, as well as the unequivocal and unanimous position of the United States and others in the international community opposing such construction in east Jerusalem,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Wednesday. “These decisions to expand construction have the potential to exacerbate this difficult situation on the ground, and they will not contribute to efforts to reduce the tensions.”
Yet according to Brachie Sprung, a spokeswoman for the Jerusalem Municipality, the Ramot housing units may actually be years away because the project must pass several more stages before construction can begin.
Frequent U.S. criticism of Israeli construction plans in recent weeks preceded a report by The Atlantic magazine in which a senior Obama administration official called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit,” making for what has been a tense time in U.S.-Israel relations.