Hours after the United Nations General Assembly voted over the objections of Israel and the United States to upgrade the Palestinians’ status, the government of Israel decided to move forward on the construction of housing in a controversial part of East Jerusalem, the New York Times reports.

Quoting a senior Israel official speaking on the condition of anonymity, the Times states that the housing would connect the settlement of Maale Adumim to Jerusalem.

Such building is controversial because it will stand between the Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem on the one hand and Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem on the other, making it impossible to connect them, according to the Times.

The prime minister’s office refused to comment on the expansion, while a State Department official criticied the move, the Times reported.

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