World Bulletin/News Desk
The Israeli committee for building and construction on Wednesday approved construction of 278 new Jewish-only settlement units in East Jerusalem, Israeli media has reported.
The plan aims to build 216 units in the Ramot settlement and 62 in the Har Homa settlement, Israel's Walla news website reported.
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the construction of another 1,060 Jewish-only housing units in East Jerusalem
The situation in East Jerusalem has been further aggravated by frequent visits by groups of extremist Jewish settlers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, where they are frequently seen performing Talmudic rituals.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.
Sacred to both Muslims and Jews, Jerusalem is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents the world's third holiest site.
Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territories," considering all Jewish settlement building on the land to be illegal.
Palestinians accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to "Judaize" the historic city with the aim of effacing its Arab and Islamic identity and ultimately driving out its Palestinian inhabitants.
Palestinian negotiators insist that Israeli settlement building must stop before stalled peace talks can resume.Last Mod: 05 Kasım 2014, 15:44