Reports: Israel plans more housing in disputed areas
April 30, 1997
Web posted at: 6:36 p.m. EDT (2236 GMT)
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israel, already criticized for building a
Jewish neighborhood on land claimed by Arabs, is considering
building hundreds more housing units in another disputed part
of Jerusalem, an Israeli newspaper reported Wednesday.
Another newspaper said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's
government plans to build new roads in the West Bank that
would require taking over more Palestinian land. The roads
would allow Israelis to bypass Arab towns and villages.
Netanyahu, in a live interview on CNN, did not directly
confirm or deny the reports. "We have not decided on the
construction of any new settlements," he said during CNN's
World Report Conference. (479 sec. / 22 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
In Jerusalem, "all building is going on within existing
municipal boundaries," he said.
King Hussein of Jordan, who also appeared via satellite from
Amman at the conference, called on Israel not to start any
new settlements. "Any change on the ground only helps create
greater difficulties," he said. (611 sec. / 30 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
In its report, the newspaper Maariv said the Israel Housing
Ministry is considering expanding a neighborhood in northern
Jerusalem with hundreds -- and perhaps thousands -- of
The neighborhood is in the part of the city captured from
Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war.
Meanwhile, the newspaper Haaretz reported that the Defense
Ministry was preparing a plan to build new bypass roads in
the West Bank at a cost of $1 billion. It said the plan had
not yet been approved.
During the interview, Netanyahu also renewed his call for
peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. "The peace
process is not dead," he said.
Palestine Authority President Yasser Arafat was invited to
join Nethanyahu and Hussein but was unable to participate.
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