MJ Martin (10 Nov 2010)
"Netanyahu: 'Jerusalem is not a settlement'"

Netanyahu: 'Jerusalem is not a settlement'
jerusalem post ^ | 11/09/2010 | TOVAH LAZAROFF

"Jerusalem is not a settlement, it is the capitol of Israel," the  
office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday in a  
sharp response to international criticism to advance plans for 1,345  
homes in Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem.

The government never agreed to place any restrictions on construction  
in Jerusalem, which has 800,000 residents, the prime minister's  
office said in a statement it issued while Prime Minister Binyamin  
Netanyahu was in New York.

Although much of the international community equates construction in  
east Jerusalem with that of West Bank settlements, Israel makes a  
sharp distinction between the two.

 From November 2009 to September 2010 Israel halted new settlement  
construction in the West Bank, but during that time it continued to  
issue new tenders for building in east Jerusalem, which it considers  
part of its united capitol.

"Israel does not see any connection between the peace process and the  
policy of planning and construction in Jerusalem, which has not  
changed in 40 years. For the last 40 years every Israeli government  
built in every part of the city. During that period peace agreements  
were signed with Egypt and Jordan and for 17 years direct  
negotiations were held with the Palestinians. These are historical  
facts. Construction in Jerusalem has never interfered with the peace  
process," the office said.

(Excerpt) Read more at jpost.com ...