Report: Israel to Build in Disputed Area

    Palestinian Rafet Dabash looks at a bulldozer destroying his own home in the east Jerusalem district of Sur Baher on November 30, 2012 after an Israeli court ruled that the house was built without a municipality permit. Many Palestinians end up demolishing their homes themselves to avoid the high cost of paying for Israeli government bulldozers, or going to prison for not being able to pay. Israel is to build 3,000 new settler homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank after the Palestinians won recognition as a non-member state at the United Nations, an Israeli official said today.        AFP PHOTO / AHMAD GHARABLI        (Photo credit should read AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)

    Ahmad Gharabli, AFP / Getty Images

    Israel is moving forward with plans to start building in an area of Jerusalem once considered off-limits since it will cut off Palestinian access to key cities, sources told The New York Times on Friday. A senior Israeli official said Thursday night that the government decided late Thursday night to prep the necessary zoning permits and other “planning preparations” for an area of Jerusalem known as E1, which would cut off the Palestinians Ramallah and Bethlehem to the Palestinian portion of East Jerusalem. The move comes on the same day that the United Nations overwhelmingly approved non-member status for Palestine—although building in the region could stand to alienate Israel from its allies, as even the U.S. has strongly opposed any building in E1 for decades.

    Read it at The New York Times