Israel kicks off indirect peace talks with new settlement project

Upon the conclusion of the first round of indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), Tel Aviv began a massive new settlement project in East Jerusalem, according to officials from both sides. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The project is seen by critics as a serious blow to the talks. They warn that the move could lead to more clashes between Palestinians and Israeli occupation forces south of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque and around Joseph’s tomb in the West Bank city of Nablus.

According to Israeli anti-settlement movement Peace Now, Israel began construction of 14 new housing units in East Jerusalem’s Ras el-Amoud neighborhood. A total of 104 units are planned for the area.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas has reportedly requested “clarification” from the US about the new settlement project.

Translated from the Arabic Edition. 

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