JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Jerusalem planning committee has given preliminary approval for the construction of at least 200 housing units in an eastern Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood.
The approval Wednesday is for the Ramot neighborhood on the northern edge of Jerusalem.
The project is several stages and several years away from the start of actual construction.
The housing is slated to be built on private land owned by a haredi Orthodox group, according to The Associated Press.
The announcement comes as Palestinian rioting continues in eastern Jerusalem and following the announcement earlier this month of plans for at least 1,000 apartments in two other eastern Jerusalem Jewish neighborhoods.
We are deeply concerned by this decision particularly given the tense situation in Jerusalem,” U.S. State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said during Wednesday’s daily press briefing. “Most importantly they are contrary to Israel’s own stated goal of achieving a two-state solution because they make it more difficult to do that.”
On Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Jordan to talk about the tensions in Jerusalem with King Abdullah II.