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Israel plans to build 200 settler homes in Jerusalem

IANS 13 Nov 2014, 7:45:13 AM IST

Jerusalem: Israel Wednesday planned to build 200 housing units in Ramat Shlomo, a settlement neighbourhood of Jerusalem, despite a similar move was harshly condemned by the international community last week.

The Local Committee for Planning and Construction in the Jerusalem Municipality announced in a statement that the controversial construction will be made on a land currently belonged to a private developer, Xinhua reported.

A senior official with the Jerusalem Municipality told Israel's Channel 2 that the committee authorised also new construction for Arabs in east Jerusalem. "Criticising only construction for Jews is hypocrisy," the official said, adding that the new construction is "vital for the development of the city and to attract young couples."

The move comes at a time of daily clashes between Palestinian youths and the Israeli police over access to a holy site and the continuing construction in the settlement.

This is the third time this month the committee approved new construction for settlers in Arab East Jerusalem.

Last Monday, the committee authorised the construction of about 500 housing units in Ramat Shlomo, and two days later it approved additional 278 houses in Ramot and Har Homa, both are settlement neighbourhoods of Jerusalem.

The settlements in the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal under international law. Several rounds of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians reached a deadlock over the Israeli construction in the settlements.

Israel annexed East Jerusalem after the 1967 Mideast War, a move which has not been recognised internationally. More than 300,000 Palestinians live in those territories.