New settlement plans not only harm Israel's relations with the US but harm Israeli interests and prospects for peace in Jerusalem, says Israeli NGO.
An Israeli government committee has approved in principle a fresh plan to construct settlement units in the southern part of occupied East Jerusalem, an Israeli NGO said.
The plan includes the construction of 1,446 settlement homes in the Lower Aqueduct settlement in the Palestinian town of Sur Baher, and between the settlements of Har Homa and Givat HaMatos, the anti-settlement group Peace Now said in a statement.
“The Lower Aqueduct plan was approved for depositing” by the District Planning Committee, Hagit Ofran, a researcher with Peace Now, tweeted.
The District Committee - affiliated with the Israeli Interior Ministry - was scheduled to meet two days after US President Joe Biden's recent visit to Israel earlier this month but the meeting was postponed for a week.
The Biden administration opposes Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Harming peace prospects
"These plans not only harm Israel's relations with its biggest ally (the US) but harm Israeli interests and prospects for peace and settlement in Jerusalem," Peace Now said in a written statement.
The anti-settlement group says more than 230,000 settlers live in settlements in East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in 1967.
Israeli and Palestinian estimates suggest that about 650,000 settlers are living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the occupied West Bank.
Under international law, all Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are considered illegal.