Netanyahu defends Jerusalem building

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo following an international outcry over the approval of nearly 800 apartments there.

“United Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital. We have full rights to build in it. We have built in Jerusalem, we are building in Jerusalem and we will continue to build in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said Oct. 23 during his visit with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Israel’s Interior Ministry last week announced its final approval for plans to build 797 new apartments in Gilo, located in southeastern Jerusalem. The initial approval for the project came in June.

European Union policy chief Catherine Ashton over the weekend issued a statement condemning the project, noting that settlements are “illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.”

The Jerusalem Municipality must still issue building permits. — jta