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2,200 new flats announced for East Jerusalem as settlement gets the green light

The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem yesterday approved a plan to build 2,200 apartments in Arav Al-Swahara in occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli media reported.

Commenting on the project, the Mayor of Jerusalem said: "The planning of neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem by the Jerusalem municipality is a clear expression of Israeli sovereignty over every part of the city and the unified strength of Jerusalem."

Municipal Advisor Bibi Alalu, who objected to the project, said: "It is an initial stage. Construction will not start before at least eight years. This stage is not enough and is not a license to start building."

Palestinians want East Jerusalem, where about 200,000 Jews are living in settlements, as the capital of their potential states. The number of Palestinians living there is 290,000.

The international community considers Israeli settlements built in East Jerusalem illegal.

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