11/01/2011 02:47 pm ET Updated Jan 01, 2012

Israel: New Housing Units In East Jerusalem

By IAN DEITCH -- The Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's prime minister is ordering the building of 2,000 new housing units for Israelis, mainly in east Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that the new construction includes settlements near Jerusalem that he believes would be part of Israel in a peace accord.

An Israeli official said the accelerated building in the part of Jerusalem the Palestinians claim is an answer to recent unilateral moves by the Palestinians. He was speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and object to Jewish housing there. Palestinians demand an end to all construction in Israeli settlements before peace talks can resume. Israel rejects that as a precondition