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Tuesday
Nov092010

Israel's Plan to Build Housing Units Stirs Reactions in US, Palestine

Palestinian Authority's Nabil Shaath. Photo Courtesy - Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images(JERUSALEM) -- The U.S. says it's deeply disappointed by Israel's newly-announced plans to build over 1,300 new housing units in east Jerusalem, a move that's officially being called "counter-productive" to U.S. efforts to renew the peace process.  It's already causing tension between U.S. officials and visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is set to meet Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in just a couple of days.

Back in Israel, it's stirring reactions, too.  Palestinian leaders claim east Jerusalem as their future capital and they are fuming over Israel's plans to build 1,300 new housing units in the eastern part of the city.

Palestinian Authoriy spokesman Nabil Shaath says, "This is just one more sign the Israelis do not want a peace process.  This Israeli government is dedicated to destroying the peace process.  Israel interior ministry is playing down the significance of the building plans, saying the project has been in the works since 2008 and that it may take years before it's finalized and building begins.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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