World Bulletin / News Desk
The Israeli government on Wednesday approved the construction of 172 new homes for Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli media has reported.
"The Israeli committee for building and planning gave its approval to start building 172 settlement units in the [Jewish-only] settlement of Har Homa [built on Jabal Abu Ghneim]," Israel's Walla news website reported.
Palestinians accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to "Judaize" East Jerusalem with the aim of effacing its Arab and Islamic identity.
They insist that Israeli settlement building must stop before a comprehensive peace deal can be reached.
International law considers the West Bank and East Jerusalem occupied territories captured by Israel in 1967, deeming all Jewish settlement building on the land illegal.
Sacred to both Muslims and Jews, the area is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents the world's third holiest site.
Jews refer to the Al-Aqsa complex as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel okays 2 synagogues near Aqsa mosque
Israel has approved the construction of two synagogues near the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem, a Palestinian NGO said.
In a Tuesday meeting, the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said that an Israeli panel has given the green light for the building of a 7-storey synagogue 100 meter south of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
According to the NGO, another synagogue will be constructed 250 meters west of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
"The final floor of this five-storey building, which overlooks the mosque compound, will be used to monitor the Al-Aqsa Mosque," the foundation said in its statement.Last Mod: 18 Haziran 2014, 18:04