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Jun 22, 3:51 PM EDT

Report: Israel gearing up to build in east Jerusalem


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JERUSALEM (AP) -- An Israeli newspaper says the government is preparing to authorize construction of 7,000 new homes in Jewish areas of east Jerusalem - a move that could complicate the efforts of U.S. envoy Jared Kushner to restart peace talks.

Israel Hayom, which has close ties to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Thursday the prime minister's director general, Eli Groner, had given instructions to Jerusalem city officials to move ahead with the plans.

Both Netanyahu's office and the municipality declined comment. But Zeev Elkin, Netanyahu's minister for Jerusalem affairs, told Army Radio that the projects had all been frozen under political pressure from the former Obama administration.

The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, as their capital. Israel claims the entire city as its eternal capital.

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