Housing Ministry planning new construction in east Jerusalem

The Housing Ministry is planning to build 400 new homes in east Jerusalem, officials said Monday. The plan has been completed and is waiting the final approval of a regional planning committee before construction can begin in the neighborhood of Neve Yaakov, said Ariela Smilinski Deri, a spokeswoman for the Jerusalem municipality. She did not know when construction might begin. On Sunday, Housing Minister Zeev Boim said his ministry would build 350 apartments in Givat Ze'ev, just outside of Jerusalem, and 750 homes in another east Jerusalem neighborhood. The plans drew heavy Palestinian condemnations.