The United States today sharply condemned Israeli plans to build 200 new Jewish homes in Yerushalayim’s Ramot neighborhood, according to AFP, warning such moves would only “exacerbate” spiraling tensions in the city.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also denounced the alleged torching of a mosque blamed on suspected Jewish extremists calling it a “hateful and provocative” act and urging officials to investigate.
“We are deeply concerned by this decision, particularly given the tense situation in Jerusalem, as well as the unequivocal and unanimous position of the United States and others in the international community opposing such construction in east Jerusalem,” Psaki told reporters.
“These decisions to expand construction have the potential to exacerbate this difficult situation on the ground, and they will not contribute to efforts to reduce the tension.”
The announcement came just ahead of the arrival of US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jordan where he was to meet Jordanian King Abdullah II to discuss the flare-up in tensions over a private dinner.
Building tenders for Jewish homes in the Jewish state “fly in the face of the stated goal of achieving a two-state solution because it predetermines or pre-decides where construction should be,” Psaki insisted.