Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo following an international outcry over the approval of nearly 800 apartments there.
Israel on Thursday issued a detailed plan for the building of some 800 new homes on annexed land in the West Bank that is certain to attract further international condemnation of its settlement policies.
A Jerusalem building committee has approved the construction of 130 new apartments in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo.
Israel plans to build more than 2,600 housing units in a new urban settlement in East Jerusalem, an anti-settlement group said on Friday, angering Palestinians who want a halt to all such projects before they return to peace talks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday rejected Western and Arab complaints that the planned construction of 1,100 new homes in Gilo on annexed land close to Jerusalem would complicate Middle East peace efforts.
Israel's decision to build 1,100 settlement homes on West Bank land is counter-productive to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday.
Jerusalem's district planning committee has approved a construction plan to build 1,100 housing units in Gilo, a Jewish neighborhood of 40,000 in eastern Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem municipality has approved a controversial plan to build 900 new homes in the Gilo neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem.
European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton joined the United States and the United Nations in condemning a Jerusalem committee's approval of new housing in Gilo. Ashton said Wednesday that she was "deeply disappointed" in the initial approval Monday by the Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee of the construction of 942 housing units in Gilo, a residential district in mostly Arab eastern Jerusalem. Other committees already had approved the plan. The units would be built on privately owned land as well as land owned by the Jewish National Fund, Haaretz reported.
The concrete barriers surrounding the Jerusalem neighborhood Gilo will be removed, Israel's military announced.