Israel’s Housing Ministry announced on Thursday that it has given final final approval to a plan to construct 300 new homes in Jewish East Jerusalem.

This will not be pleasant news to Secretary of State John Kerry, whose efforts to renew Mideast peace talks appear to rely on Jewish homelessness.


The announcement came less than a week after Kerry all but commanded Israel not to engage in any “provocative” actions during his visit to the region.

A U.S. State Department spokeswoman said building the new homes was “counterproductive.”

Palestinian officials accused Israel of undermining the U.S. effort to restart the negotiations.

Last time, in late 2008, negotiations broke down over PM Netanyahu’s refusal to extend a 10-month freeze on construction of Jewish homes in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem.

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