Israel has solicited bids to build nearly 700 new apartments in Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.
The plan to build in the Pisgat Ze’ev, Neve Ya’akov and Har Homa neighborhoods was announced on Monday. The communities sit on land captured by Israel from Jordan in 1967. Israel has annexed the territory, but that move has never been recognized by the international community, which considers the territory to be Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Eastern Jerusalem was not included in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s commitment to a 10-month settlement construction freeze.
“We make a distinction between the West Bank and Jerusalem. Jerusalem is our capital and remains such,” government spokesman Mark Regev told reporters Monday.
Palestinians say the building projects are a sign that Israel is not serious about peace.
The apartments were part of a tender issued for 6,500 housing units in 54 communities throughout Israel.