World Bulletin / News Desk
According to Hebrew-language daily Haaretz, Israel’s Jerusalem planning committee approved construction of 770 new housing units in East Jerusalem’s Gilo settlement bloc.
Gilo lies beyond the Green Line, which demarcates the border between Israel and the West Bank according to the terms of a 1949 armistice agreement.
"Several additional steps, however, must still be taken by the authorities before the construction process can begin," the paper reported.
According to Haaretz, the settlement-expansion plan was first presented in 2012 but did not receive formal approval until Wednesday.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.
Palestinians have long accused Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to "Judaize" Jerusalem (Al-Quds in Arabic) with the aim of effacing its historical Arab and Islamic identity and driving out its Palestinian inhabitants.