- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Israel announced on Wednesday it was going forward with a new construction project in east Jerusalem, a move sure to spark controversy as it’s at the very site that Palestinians want as their future home state.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Lital Apter said four projects are in the works, including a housing community plan for 1,500 new units in Ramat Shlomo, The Associated Press reported.

The announcement comes just as Israel abided the terms of a U.S.-brokered deal to release 26 Palestinian prisoners back to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In fact, AP reported, it’s believed the housing project is aimed at quelling the anger of Israelis — particularly families and loved ones of the prisoners’ victims — who outright objected to the inmate release program.

The peace talks are going forward behind closed doors, so it’s not immediately clear if the construction project announcement has angered Palestinians to the point of cancelling discussions.

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