Israel Palestine Conflict

Israel approves 1,700 new houses in east Jerusalem settlement

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Israeli authorities have approved the construction of more than 1,700 new homes, a non-governmental organization said Wednesday, a move constituting the expansion of settlements in occupied east Jerusalem.

Half the “new neighborhood” comprising 1,738 housing units will be in the city’s annexed east, the Israeli NGO Peace Now said.

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“If it weren’t for the war (between Israel and Hamas), there would be a lot of noise. It’s a highly problematic project for the continuity of a Palestinian state between the southern West Bank and east Jerusalem,” Peace Now’s Hagit Ofran told AFP.

In a statement, the NGO said: “Half of the Lower Aqueduct neighborhood is situated beyond the Green Line in east Jerusalem, and the other half is within the Green Line.

“However, its strategic location between the neighborhoods of Givat Hamatos and Har Homa makes it particularly problematic from a political standpoint.”

The Green Line refers to the 1949 Armistice Line established at the end of the war that accompanied Israel’s founding a year earlier. It divided the city between Israeli-governed west Jerusalem, and east Jerusalem, which was administered by Jordan until 1967.

Israel occupied and annexed east Jerusalem in 1967 in a move never recognized by the United Nations.

According to the Ir Amin anti-settlement NGO, around 300,000 Palestinians and 200,000 Israelis live in east Jerusalem.

Israeli settlements in occupied territories are illegal under international law.

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