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Bill gives national priority to Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli Knesset committee advanced a bill that would give national priority to Jerusalem in areas such as housing construction and education.

The measure approved Sunday by the ministerial committee on legislation is designed to push investment in Jerusalem and encourage Jerusalem residents to stay in the capital.

A preliminary reading of the legislation, proposed by Uri Ariel of the National Union Party, is expected this week in the Israeli parliament, according to reports. At least 39 of the Knesset’s 120 lawmakers already have signed on to the bill, Haaretz reported.

The bill could raise some hackles. Though not mentioned specifically, the housing grants could cover Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem, according to reports.

Ariel said the bill would bring "an end to the illegal building freeze" in the capital.

Also Sunday, Israeli police clashed with Arab youth in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan after Jerusalem city supervisors distributed notices of court proceedings for the demolition of four buildings built without a permit.
 

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