By Lubaba Zawqan
Israeli Minister of Housing and Construction Yoav Galant has launched a campaign to promote the construction of 300,000 settlement units in East Jerusalem, according to Israeli media.
Israeli Channel 10 said the planned construction was part of the so-called Israeli "Greater Jerusalem" bill, which aims at annexing settlements built on lands sought by Palestinians for their future state.
According to the channel, most of the planned homes will be built in areas beyond the Green Line, which refers to the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war.
The move comes less than three weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital despite world opposition.
The Israeli government has yet to comment on the report.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry, for its part, decried the Israeli plan as a "direct result" of Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
"It is part of the colonialist project taking
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the perennial Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.
Israel occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 claiming it as the Jewish state's "undivided and eternal capital" -- a move never recognized by the international community.
International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territories" and considers all Jewish settlement construction there as illegal.