Initial approval granted for 200 new housing units in east Jerusalem

The Jerusalem municipality, said its planning committee gave initial approval on Wednesday for the construction of 200 new homes in an urban settlement in Jerusalem, a move that could aggravate tensions with Palestinians that Washington is trying to lower.
The new housing is slated for Ramot, a sprawling hillside complex of apartment buildings and private homes at the northern edge of Jerusalem, on land Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed to the city in a move never recognized internationally. Palestinians want this territory as part of a future state.
Brachie Sprung, a spokeswoman for the committee granted preliminary approval for a private contractor to build the 200 housing units on land he purchased in Ramot. The project must pass several more stages before construction could begin, she said.
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