A senior Israeli political source has denied that the government gave the US administration a guarantee on a settlement freeze in East Jerusalem. The denial came after the start of proximity talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was announced.
According to Radio Israel, the source said, "Israel did not give Washington any guarantees with respect to the issue of construction in East Jerusalem." The Israeli government, the source continued, "will resume construction" as in the past.
Meanwhile, a report issued by the left-wing Israel group Peace Now has revealed that Israel has in fact started to build 14 new settlement units in the Ras Al-Amud neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem.
The report added that around 1,900 Jewish settlers currently live in 120 buildings in Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem; the illegal settlers claim that these buildings are owned by Jewish entities.
The Jerusalem municipality has said that Arab and Jewish citizens alike have the right to live across all of "the capital's" neighbourhoods and buy buildings therein.