JERUSALEM, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The year of 2012 has seen a record-high number of housing units the Israeli government planned to construct for settlements in Jerusalem neighborhoods situated beyond the 1967 border line, according to data released Thursday by the Ir Amim Foundation.
The data showed that 6,932 housing units were approved for construction in 2012, compared to 1,772 houses in 2011 and 569 units in 2010.
The Israeli Housing Ministry issued in 2012 tenders for 2,386 apartments located on lands Israel occupied following the 1967 war, compared to only 726 tenders issued in 2011.
A majority of the plans that were approved in the past year were for construction in the neighborhoods of Gilo, Har Homa and Givat Hamtaos in southeast Jerusalem, as well as Pisgat Ze'ev and Ramat Shlomo in northeast Jerusalem.
Many of these approvals were issued following the Palestinian National Authority's successful bid on Nov. 29 to obtain the status of UN non-member observer state.
However, since the issuance of tenders is a lengthy process, there were also many construction projects approved before the Nov. 29 bid.
"This is a huge move toward changing the reality in Jerusalem without conducting a public debate about it," Ir Amim's director Yehudit Oppenheimer told Ha'aretz.
"This new reality traps within it a large Palestinian population, without civil status or rights, while a Jewish majority has a monopoly on the mechanisms of power and control. This is a disaster for Jerusalem as a city and its people," she added.
The Israeli cabinet has announced the approved construction of thousands of new housing units in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and E1 corridor connecting them, as a punitive measure against the Palestinian authority.
The construction plans were condemned by countries including the United States, Britain, France and Germany, as well as by the European Union and the United Nations.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians came to a halt in 2010 over Israel's continued settlements construction.