Speed Reads

Israel and Palestine

Vote delayed on building new housing in East Jerusalem

A Jerusalem city councilman said Wednesday that at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a municipal committee has postponed a vote on building about 500 new homes in Jewish portions of East Jerusalem.

Last week, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank a "flagrant violation" of international law, with the U.S. abstaining from the vote. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be their future capital; along with the West Bank, East Jerusalem was captured by Israel in 1967.

Councilman Hanan Rubin told The Associated Press that Netanyahu wanted the vote delayed in order to not worsen relations with the United States. On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will present the Obama administration's vision for peace between Israel and Palestine, and Rubin said the council does not want him to be able to mention the possible housing project in his speech, making it a "political issue."