JERUSALEM — Israel’s prime minister vowed today to continue building in a contested Jerusalem district, just days after European Union criticism of Jewish housing there.
Benjamin Netanyahu was speaking during a visit to Gilo after Israeli approval for the construction of 800 Jewish homes there sparked a sharp condemnation from EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton. She is set to visit Israel on Wednesday.
Israel captured Gilo in the 1967 Mideast war from Jordan. Then it annexed the area to Jerusalem in a move that has not been recognized internationally. The Gilo district is close to Bethlehem in the West Bank.
Palestinians claim the eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel says east Jerusalem is an inseparable part of its capital, citing biblical and security reasons.