Israel to advance east Jerusalem building plans


Associated Press

Posted on December 4, 2012 at 2:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 4 at 2:34 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says it's moving ahead with plans for two major settlement projects in east Jerusalem.

This, despite warnings from a senior Palestinian official, who says his government could pursue war crimes charges against Israel if the construction isn't stopped.

International anger over the Israeli settlements has snowballed in recent days, after last week's U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine in areas occupied by Israel in 1967.

Britain's foreign secretary told his parliament today that the latest Israel building plans will make it "almost inconceivable" to set up a Palestinian state alongside Israel, with Jerusalem as a shared capital.

More countries -- including Egypt, Australia and Brazil -- are summoning the local Israeli ambassadors to protest the settlement plans.

But an Israeli government spokesman says Israel is responding in a "very measured way" to what it sees as "a series of Palestinian provocations."

Last week's recognition by the U.N. could enable the Palestinians to gain access to the International Criminal Court and seek war crimes charges against Israel for building settlements on occupied lands.

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APPHOTO SEB107: FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2007 file photo, construction workers are seen at the E-1 construction site near the West bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem. On Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, a spokeswoman said Israel is moving forward with plans for two major settlement projects in east Jerusalem, even as a senior Palestinian official warned that his government could pursue war crimes charges if Israel doesn't halt such construction. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File) (10 Oct 2007)

<<APPHOTO SEB107 (10/10/07)>>

APPHOTO SEB111: Palestinian Hamas member Nasser al-Shaer attends a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, Dec 4, 2012. Israel's latest settlement plans will destroy any lingering hopes of setting up a Palestinian state next to Israel, a senior Palestinian official warned Tuesday, as international anger over such construction snowballed. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed) (4 Dec 2012)

<<APPHOTO SEB111 (12/04/12)>>