Israel to build 300 units in Jewish settlement in east Jerusalem, threatening Kerry efforts

Israel's Housing Ministry says it has given the final go-ahead for the construction of 300 new homes in a Jewish settlement in east Jerusalem.

Thursday's announcement complicates the mission of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to renew Mideast peace talks.

Ministry spokesman Ariel Rosenberg said his office has accepted a bid by a company to build the homes in Ramot. He says the ministry put out a tender for construction last year, and that building is expected to begin in a few months.

Ramot, which Israel considers a Jerusalem neighborhood, lies in territory Israel seized in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians have refused to resume peace talks while Israel builds on occupied lands they claim for their future state.

Kerry has urged both sides to avoid provocative moves.