Despite calls for a permanent freeze on Israel’s West Bank settlement activity, more units receive construction approval in the occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
The Israeli building and planning committee in al-Quds endorsed the expansion on Monday as part of a plan to build a total of 250 units in the illegal Pisgat Ze’ev settlement, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported.
Israeli municipality officials have also authorized more than 100 building permit requests across the city, which hosts a number of sanctities highly revered by followers of Islam, Christianity and Judaism
Al-Quds has been a flashpoint of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters who accuse Tel Aviv of efforts to remove the Islamic and Palestinian identity ofcity through unrelenting judaization.
Israel occupied al-Quds, which Palestinians have long been demanding as the capital of their future Palestinian state, during the six-day war of 1967 and later annexed it despite strong opposition from the international community.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has made it a pre-condition for the indirect negotiations for Tel Aviv to enforce a complete halt on the settlement activities which the United Nations has repeatedly condemned as illegal.
The US-backed indirect "proximity talks," itself a pre-condition for direct talks, have failed as Israel has violated a self-proclaimed ban on the settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The Monday approval for further settlement expansion follows a visit by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the United States and despite expectations from Washington to press Tel Aviv to make concessions.