JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Jerusalem committee approved construction plans for 13 new apartments for Jewish residents in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
The city’s municipal planning and construction committee approved private plans for two apartment buildings to be constructed near the tomb of Shimon HaTzadik, a Jewish high priest during the time of the Second Temple. The Interior Ministry gives the final go-ahead to the project.
Several dozen Jews reside in 10 homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Arieh King, the chairman of the Israel Land Fund, told Ynet that plans are in the works for hundreds of new homes for Jews in the area.
Arabs and Jews have been fighting for nearly two years over whether Jews have the right to live in the neighborhood. Efforts to evict Palestinian families from houses that were said to have been owned previously by Jews — allowing Jews to reclaim their property — have intensified.