Israel approves 566 east Jerusalem settler homes

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(FILES) This file photo taken on January 27, 2016 shows cranes at a construction site in the Israeli settlement of Ramot built in a suburb of mostly Arab east Jerusalem. Israeli authorities on January 22, 2017, approved building permits for 566 settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem, plans that had been postponed until US President Donald Trump took office, the city’s deputy mayor Meir Turjeman said.
The new permits are for homes in the settlement neighbourhoods of Pisgat Zeev, Ramot and Ramat Shlomo, according to Turjeman, who also heads the planning committee that approved them.
AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP

Israeli authorities on Sunday approved building permits for 566 settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem, plans that had been postponed until US President Donald Trump took office, the city’s deputy mayor said.

Meir Turjeman told AFP that city officials approved the plans that had been previously postponed at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request in the wake of a UN Security Council resolution in December against Israeli settlement building.

Turjeman said plans for some 11,000 other homes were also in process in east Jerusalem, though he did not say when they could be moved forward.

The new permits are for homes in the settlement neighbourhoods of Pisgat Zeev, Ramot and Ramat Shlomo, according to Turjeman, who also heads the planning committee that approved them.

“The rules of the game have changed with Donald Trump’s arrival as president,” he said.

“We no longer have our hands tied as in the time of Barack Obama. Now we can finally build.”

Netanyahu said Sunday he was to speak with Trump later in the day, their first conversation since the billionaire businessman took office.

Trump has pledged strong support for Israel and vowed during his campaign to recognise Jerusalem as the country’s capital despite the city’s contested status.

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