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Israel 'okays plans for over 550 East Jerusalem settler homes'
Published Wednesday 05/02/2014 (updated) 06/02/2014 22:34
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Palestinians and Israeli activists hold a banner reading "No peace
with settlements" as they take part in a demonstration near the
West bank town of Jericho, on January 31, 2014.(AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel on Wednesday pushed forward with plans to build more than 550 new homes in illegal settlements in annexed East Jerusalem, the city council said.

In a statement listing "building permits that were approved" during a local planning committee session, it said permits were granted to private contractors to build 386 units in Har Homa, 136 units in Neve Yaakov and 36 units in Pisgat Zeev.

Issuing construction permits is one of the last stages before construction begins, with building likely to start in the coming weeks, Israel's Peace Now settlement watchdog said.

Israel and the Palestinians began a round of direct peace talks at the end of July with the aim of reaching an agreement within nine months.

But the US-led negotiations have been overshadowed by Israel's refusal to rein in construction plans on occupied Palestinian land.

Israel captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.

It considers all of Jerusalem its "eternal, undivided" capital and does not see construction in the eastern sector as settlement building.

Some 350,000 Jewish settlers live in West Bank settlements, in addition to another 200,000 Israelis settled in occupied and annexed East Jerusalem.

The international community views all settlement building on occupied Palestinian land as illegal.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
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1 ) maisie / UK
05/02/2014 17:11
And the piece process goes on. Why do they bother with the farcical exercise which allows the zionists to build over Palestine? At the end of this futile process, no matter how Kerry denies it, these wasted months during which settlement construction goes on will appear as if this has been sanctioned - albeit tacitly - by the US. Let us keep in mind the mid-term elections in the US and how AIPAC affects any elections.

2 ) Johnny benson / USA
05/02/2014 18:42
Maisie...your right here...in a way...the talks are a farce..a dance by Obama,Kerry to look good...the Israeli and pal. Leaders to look good for the world...nothing will change...hopefully the Arabs will get it and move on and out...but with all this turmoil in the Arab world...that will be many years from now.meanwhile all of us with a dog in this fight will try to solve the problems with posts on maan...

3 ) Don't Worry / US
05/02/2014 18:45
Don't fret. Even if the Israelis give up East Jerusalem, they will annex the settlement blocks to Israel anyway. Stop worrying over nothing.

4 ) Israel is growing by leaps / and bounds
05/02/2014 18:55
Every where you travel you see huge growth

5 ) EE / UK
05/02/2014 20:37
Maisie - you are 100% wrong: Jerusalem is not Palestine, never was and never will be. Jerusalem is a capital of the state of Israel, and like all other states on Earth, Israel is free to build whatever they want in there capital.

6 ) Colin Wright / USA
05/02/2014 21:25
At the end point, Israel will find it will have irreversibly incorporated 2.5 million more Palestinians -- raising the Palestinian component of its population to 40%. Moreover, it will have no way of expelling them or continuing to exclude them from the political process without abandoning its pretensions to being a modern, democratic state. So, it will be forced to either (a) cease being Israel in any clear sense, or (b) become a pariah. This is a suicide note. I'm glad Israel's writing it.

7 ) REAL / HISTORY
05/02/2014 21:35
#4 huge ILLEGAL ACTIVITY, do they actually think they can get away with this ?

8 ) Tobias / USA
05/02/2014 23:41
The sign reads "No Peace With Settlements", and If that is the PA's position too (& seemingly so), in addition to no recognition of a Jewish state, then * THERE WILL BE NO PEACE, OR STATE, other than the Jewish state of Israel.
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