Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Sunday emphatically stated that Jews will continue to receive permits to build in the eastern half of the city, despite UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's request that they be denied such authorization.
In his meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in New York on Friday, Ban insisted that Israel extend its 10-month Jewish building freeze in Judea and Samaria, and even expand it to include those parts of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinians.
In a statement to The Jerusalem Post, Barkat's spokesman said the mayor "condemns the racist suggestion of the UN secretary-general that construction permits in Jerusalem should be issued by religion, race or national identity."
The spokesman noted that denying building permits on such grounds would be illegal anywhere else in the world, and that Barkat intends to "continue to issue building permits to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike throughout the entirety of Jerusalem."
Over the past year, the international community has had increasingly exaggerated reactions to the building of Jewish housing units on the eastern side of Jerusalem. The Palestinians insist they will not make peace with Israel unless that half of Jerusalem, including the Old City and Temple Mount, is surrendered to them.
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