Israel Approves Construction of Housing Units

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Israel is once again defying the Obama administration and is approving hundreds of new housing units.

The 455 new units will be built in settlements in Judea and Samaria. They were approved by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

This goes against President Obama's call to halt all settlement construction. But Israeli cabinet members seem defiant.

"I don't see any reason to stop construction, neither in Tel-Aviv, nor in Jerusalem, nor in Judea and Samaria," said Uzi Landau, Israel's minister of national infrastructure. "I would just simply go on with that."

According to the Jerusalem Post newspaper, the Israeli government is expected to soon declare a moratorium on settlements. That's part of a package the U.S. is putting together to re-launch Middle East peace talks.

Those talks could begin again in just a couple of weeks when President Obama is expected to mediate a meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders during a meeting at the United Nations.

*Original Broadcast Date: September 7, 2009.

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