Itongadol.- The UN Security Council will hold an "emergency meeting" on Wednesday to discuss Israeli plans to build more Jewish homes in Jerusalem, diplomats said.
UN Security Council to Meet over Israeli Building in Jerusalem
The "urgent" talks were requested by Jordan following a letter from Palestinian Authority envoy Riyad Mansour who called on the 15-member council to "address this crisis situation in occupied east Jerusalem."
The announcement follows harsh criticism by senior Israeli officials of the negative international response to building projects for Jews in Jerusalem.
Contrary to Mansour\’s statement, the building plans announced include neighborhoods throughout Jerusalem, and not just in its eastern sector. "East Jerusalem" is a euphemism for parts of the capital liberated from Jordanian forces, when Jerusalem was reunited by Israeli forces after the 1967 Six Day War.
Earlier Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed to ignore the torrent of criticism from the international community, declaring that Israel would continue to build Jewish homes in Jerusalem.
"We will continue to develop the ports in order to lower commodity prices, we will continue to build roads and railways to connect the center of the Negev and the Galilee, and we will continue to build in Jerusalem, oureternal capital," Netanyahu stated.
Netanyahu also condemned international criticism of Israeli building projects in the capital, and accused those critics of "distancing peace" by unquestioningly adopting the Palestinian position.
"I heard an argument that the construction of Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem distances [the Middle East from] peace," Netanyahu added. "It is this criticism which distances peace."
"These statements are detached from reality, they are harboring false statements made by the Palestinians."
"When Abbas incites the murder of Jews in Jerusalem, the international community is silent, and when we build in Jerusalem, that leaves them indignant," he continued. "I do not accept the double standard here."
"The French build in Paris, the English build in London – that\’s the same as Israel building in Jerusalem," he concluded. "We will continue to build in Jerusalem and will continue to build here in Ashdod."
Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein echoed the PM\’s sentiments later Tuesday, criticizing Israel\’s critics as being "out of touch" with reality.
"Building in Jerusalem is not something to be done under the table or under the cover of night," Edelstein told Arutz Sheva.
"It has been part of the policy of every Israeli government and anyone who even thinks that in a peace agreement we will need to evacuate (the Jerusalem neighborhoods) Gilo, Talpiot and Pisgat Ze\’ev apparently doesn\’t understand what they\’re talking about," added the MK.
Building tenders approved for construction
On Monday, Netanyahu gave instructions for the building of about 660 homes in Ramat Shlomo, in northern Jerusalem, and about 400 more in Har Homa, in the capital\’s southern section. All of the tenders had been slated for construction from as far back as 2010.
Earlier this month, he approved 2,610 building tenders from 2012 to be approved for full construction.
Both decisions have been met with threats from the EU and the Palestinian Authority (PA), and drawn criticism from the US. On Monday night, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington was"deeply concerned" by the reports and American embassy officials were having high-level talks with Israeli leaders to seek more information.
"We continue to make our position absolutely clear that we view settlement activity as illegitimate and unequivocally oppose unilateral steps that prejudge the future of Jerusalem," Psaki told reporters.
"Israel\’s leaders have said they would support a pathway to a two-state solution, but moving forward with this type of action would be incompatible with the pursuit of peace," she added.