Jerusalem mayor denies housing construction freeze
Jerusalem's mayor is denying there has been any freeze in housing construction in the traditionally Arab eastern part of the city. His comments may complicate the Obama administration's attempts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, AP reported.
Mayor Nir Barkat told reporters on Tuesday that reports of a de facto halt to building Jewish homes in east Jerusalem were wrong. He said construction will continue after a short slowdown in approvals caused by Israeli shock at U.S. criticism of plans for new homes announced last month during Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Jerusalem.
Barkat's comments came a day after some local officials in Jerusalem said Israel's prime minister had effectively frozen new Jewish construction in east Jerusalem.