The plan to expand settlements in Ramat Shlomo was first filed in 2010 and initially stipulated the construction of 1,700 houses. However, back then Israeli authorities were forced to suspend their intentions after Joe Biden’s visit to Tel Aviv as the plan met vast condemnation.
The recent announcement comes just weeks after Israel, frustrated by the Palestinians success in winning UN recognition at the end of November, authorized the building of 3,000 new settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank. In response to that a number of European countries summoned their Israeli ambassadors to convey their disapproval and concerns.
"The approval of this program is an important and positive step for the Interior Ministry, in order to improve the housing issue while simultaneously strengthening Jerusalem," the Jerusalem Post quoted the minister.