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Report: 1,500 new settler homes ready for approval

May 19, 2011 11:09 A.M. (Updated: May 21, 2011 10:39 A.M.)
TEL AVIV (Ma’an) -- The Planning and Building Committee for the Jerusalem municipality will discuss Thursday plans to build 1,500 new Jewish-only housing units in illegal settlements of Har Homa and Pisgat Ze'ev.

Both settlements are built on lands occupied by Israel in 1967, and are at least partially constructed on privately owned Palestinian property.

The discussion is slated to start Thursday afternoon, only a few hours ahead of an expected speech from Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu to American leaders in Washington. The Israeli leader will meet with US President Barack Obama during his trip, and is expected to discuss possibilities for reviving the peace process.

In September 2010, Obama made rigorous efforts to convince Netanyahu to halt settlement construction on occupied lands, promising funds, weapons and a UN veto on Palestinian issues of building was stopped.

President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian negotiations team had said at the start of the peace process, that talks would only continue as long as settlements were not being constructed on lands hoped to be part of an eventual Palestinian state.

Netanyahu rejected Obama's offers and settlement building resumed at a quickened pace.

Peace talks have been stalled since.

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