JAKARTADAILY.ID - The foreign ministries of several European countries are urging Israeli officials to stop the construction of new housing units in East Jerusalem, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
The plan for the new housing units was approved by the local planning and housing committee of the city of Jerusalem earlier this month.
Half of the homes are planned to be built in the controversial areas of Givat Hamatos and Har Homa, located along the "green line" that theoretically separates annexed East Jerusalem. Palestinians see the region as their own future state.
Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan back in 1967 and annexed it. The move was not internationally recognized, despite Israel claiming the whole of Jerusalem as its own indivisible capital.
France, Germany, Italy, and Spain stated that the new buildings would "constitute an additional obstacle to the two-state solution" instead, referring to the international peace efforts between Israel and Palestina. The settlement in this area would disconnect the West Bank from East Jerusalem.
The four foreign ministries also expressed concerns of evictions and demolitions of the Sheikh Jarrah settlement, following reports of displacement.
Also on Wednesday, a Palestinian family was reportedly evicted from their decades-lived-in home in East Jerusalem. The house was then torn down, which was criticized by activists and diplomats.
The sentiment is shared by the anti-settlement group Peace Now which thinks the plan will only add fuel to the tension and further highlights discrimination.
"...The government is building in East Jerusalem for Israelis only, while the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the city can build almost nothing," the group said in a statement.
Currently, approximately 200,000 Israelis reside in East Jerusalem, alongside 300,000 Palestinians.
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