“It is impossible for us to accept the realization of such a decision. The move is illegal,” said Shakra during his teleconferenced speech. Shakra is under a travel ban for 6 months following his recent release from an Israeli prison.
The approval of the building plan on Sunday came two days after the inauguration of Donald Trump in the United States, with an Israeli official saying the permits had been held up until the end of Barack Obama’s administration, which had been critical of Israeli settlement activity.
Palestinians are reacting harshly to Trump’s statement, saying that such a decision would mean that the U.S. would officially recognize the Israeli capital as Jerusalem instead of Tel Aviv.
Occupied since 1967
Both Palestinians and Israelis have been living in Jerusalem for decades and both claim Jerusalem as their capital. Outgoing U.S. President Obama also cautioned Trump’s new team.
East Jerusalem is among those territories which were occupied by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967.
Despite the fact that Israel has been applying a permanent settlement strategy in the occupied territory and claims that Jerusalem is the capital of the country, the United Nations does not accept Israel’s single-sided declaration of Jerusalem as capital, as well as its presence on the lands it occupied after 1967.