The Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel has approved plans to build 1,000 apartments in Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Three days before the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are to resume in Jerusalem, plans for nearly 800 apartments in east Jerusalem and nearly 400 in several large West Bank settlements have been approved.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had long insisted he would not resume talks without an Israeli settlement freeze. In the end, he relented under intense U.S. pressure.
So far President Obama has watched from the sidelines. Is he ready to engage; to use his own authority, even if that risks failure?
For the first time in three years, both sides have agreed to sit down to discuss resuming peace negotiations, John Kerry said.