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New housing approved for eastern Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Jerusalem municipal committee approved several hundred apartments for Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.

The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday that the municipal Committee for Planning and building approved nearly 350 dwellings — 223 in Har Homa, 102 for Neve Yaakov and 24 in Pisgat Zeev.

The Associated Press put the number of apartments approved at 558.

The building projects originally were approved several years ago, a municipal spokeswoman told AP. She also said that new building in Arab areas of Jerusalem was approved on Wednesday.

Responding to the announcement, the Palestinians’ chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said, “The international community must hold Israel accountable for this policy” of approving settlement housing, which is seen as  undermining the current U.S.-brokered peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

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