After the U.S. State Department strongly condemned Israel’s construction approval for 181 new housing units in Gilo, a senior-level Israeli official responded today: “Gilo will be an integral part of the State of Israel in any future agreement.”
Gilo. Archives Photo Credit: Channel 2 News
Yesterday, JOL News reported that the U.S. State Department issued a statement of condemnation following reports that Israeli planning authorities approved the construction of 181 housing units in the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo in East Jerusalem. Today (Thursday), a senior-level Israeli official responded to the State Department’s condemnation, expressing his surprise from the American response and stressing that “Gilo is an integral part of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.”
“The criticism is hard to understand considering that it is clear to everyone that Gilo will be an integral part of the State of Israel in any future agreement,” the Israeli official stated.
Yesterday, U.S. State Department Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that the U.S. “strongly opposes settlement activity,” stressing that such moves “risk entrenching a one-state reality and call into question Israel’s commitment to negotiating a peace agreement with the Palestinians.”
More tension between Netanyahu and Obama Photo Credit: Channel 2 News
The building plans for the new homes in Gilo were made a while ago, but the government postponed their implementation several times in order to avoid confrontation with the White House. Now that the Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and the US has been signed, these plans were unfrozen.
Meanwhile, the Jerusalem municipality said in a statement, “There is no change in building policies across the city. We are promoting building plans for both Jews and Arabs.”