Following the Israeli government’s announcement of a new building expansion plan in Jerusalem for an estimated 25,000 housing units, Palestinian Authority officials are asking that the US intervene and stop Israel. US President Donald Trump is due to arrive in Israel for his first official visit on May 22.

Trump is due to visit Israel on May 22

Trump is due to visit Israel on May 22 Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The Palestinians are responding harshly to Israel’s plans to expand building in Jerusalem. Palestinian Authority official, Saeb Erekat called on the US to intervene in the matter. “We strongly condemn Netanyahu’s government’s insistence to continue its colonialist effort throughout occupied Palestine,” he wrote in his public address to the Trump administration.

Erekat warned that he believes these actions “are intended to bury the two-state solution and to systematically prevent the Palestinian people from exercising their right to self-determination.”

Saeb Erekat

Saeb Erekat Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

The PA official said that the move was “a clear message to the United States, which is currently under way for the visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and a clear attempt to sabotage the international efforts to renew the peace process.” Erekat continued saying that “the US and the world’s countries must understand that there will be no peace in the region or a fair peace agreement without an end to Israeli building, the Israeli occupation, a just solution for all Palestinian refugees, releasing all Palestinian prisoners, and forming an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

As previously reported by JOL, the Israeli Ministry of Construction and Housing has initiated a Jerusalem expansion to build 25,000 housing units in Jerusalem on both sides of the Green Line. The plan includes 10,000 units throughout the city and 15,000 units in East Jerusalem. Israeli Minister Yoav Galant, the initiator of the plan, is working to formulate an umbrella agreement between the Jerusalem municipality and the Israeli government to begin implementation shortly before US President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel. The plan is expected to cost an estimated 4 billion NIS.

Trump is expected to arrive in Israel on May 22 for two days, during which it is believed he may announce the transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.