Israel grants building permits for 240 homes in East Jerusalem

Jerusalem authorities granted building permits for 240 homes in East Jerusalem Wednesday, Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman told The Times of Israel.

The Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee, chaired by Turgeman, approved 90 units in the Gilo neighborhood and 150 in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood.

Meanwhile, building permits were granted for 44 units for Arab East Jerusalemites in the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Hanina, Turgeman said.

Jewish East Jerusalem neighborhoods have enjoyed an increase in building approvals in recent months.

Israel took control of East Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967 and later extended sovereignty over it in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.

Israeli decisions to build in East Jerusalem invariably draw international condemnation. Israel rejects this, saying all of Jerusalem is the undivided capital of the Jewish state.

Last month, the Planning and Building Committee approved a major expansion of the Jewish neighborhood of Nof Zion in East Jerusalem, signing off on plans to add 176 homes.

Nof Zion is located inside the Arab neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber.

In allowing Nof Zion to add the new units to 91 existing homes, the expansion would create the largest Jewish enclave in an Arab neighborhood of the city, left-wing groups charged.

Also in October, Channel 1 news reported that the government is planning to build some 10,000 new homes for Jews in north Jerusalem, near the Arab town of Qalandiya, just a few miles south of Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority.

The treasury has already allocated the money to develop the project, the report said. However, planning experts in Jerusalem told Channel 1 it is “nothing less than a fantasy.”

No new Jewish neighborhoods have been built in Jerusalem since the 1990s.

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