POSTED: 3:00 a.m. HST, Dec 25, 2012
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has advanced a project for 942 more settler homes in east Jerusalem closer to construction as part of a new fast-track plan to tighten its grip on the territory.
Palestinians want to establish a capital in east Jerusalem and say any Israeli construction there undermines their claims.
The Interior Ministry says a government planning committee moved the project to the advanced stage of asking contractors to submit bids to build them.
Once a bid is awarded, construction can begin.
The homes are among some 5,000 new settler homes that Israel moved closer to construction in the past week.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a settlement construction push to punish the Palestinians for winning recognition of a de facto state at the United Nations last month.