Israel approved new settlement in east Jerusalem amidst opposition

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JERUSALEM — Israeli authorities have given preliminary approval for construction of 300 new homes in east Jerusalem — a move that could ratchet up already-heightened tensions in the holy city.

According to AP, Amnon Arbel, the deputy head of planning in the Jerusalem municipality, said a planning committee approved the project Wednesday in the Ramot area.

Arbel said the project needs to clear other hurdles and construction is years away.

The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as their capital, and the international community opposes Israeli construction in the area.

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An attack against a mosque in a West Bank village earlier Wednesday ignited a fire that destroyed its first floor, an assault the village’s mayor blamed on Jewish settlers. The attack came against the background of competing claims to a holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City.

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