APN to Netanyahu, Obama: Stop East Jerusalem Settlement Construction

Americans for Peace Now joins its Israeli sister organization, Israel’s Peace Now movement, in strongly condemning the Israeli authorities’ decision to proceed with an East Jerusalem construction project that has triggered deep disapproval among the international community, including in Washington.

A spokesperson for the Department of State in Washington said today, "it is unfortunate that after the unequivocal and unanimous position last week of the international community opposing construction in Jerusalem at this sensitive time, authorities chose to move forward." The spokesperson correctly depicted the move as an example of “unilateral steps that prejudge the future of Jerusalem.” The plan, which was approved today by the Jerusalem Municipality’s Planning and Construction Committee to build 500 new housing units in Ramat Shlomo, a wedge settlement in the northern part of East Jerusalem, which hinders future Palestinian contiguity between East Jerusalem and Ramallah. 
APN has repeatedly urged the Obama administration to apply pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet members to block settlement plans in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. We call on President Obama to go beyond condemnations and make clear to Netanyahu that halting settlement activity – particularly at this sensitive time – is necessary for de-escalating tensions in Jerusalem.