Israel approves hundreds of new settler homes in Jerusalem

Israel approves hundreds of new settler homes in Jerusalem
An Israeli settlement has been given the green light to expand, the first announcement since Donald Trump won the US election.
1 min read
23 November, 2016
The Israeli settlement will expand deeper into occupied Palestinian land [Getty]

Around 500 new Israel settler homes could be built in occuped east Jerusalem in the Israeli-annexed east, an NGO said.

"This morning, the local planning and building committee made the decision to advance (plans)... for 500 units in Ramat Shlomo," the Ir Amim anti-settlement NGO said.

Plans for the expansion of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish settlement neighbourhood have been on hold since 2014, it said.

The Jerusalem municipality said the "plans in question are not new and were approved years ago".

More than 200,000 Israelis now live in communities in east Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in the 1967 war and later annexed.

This was viewed as an illegal act by the international community, which regards all Israeli settlements in the occupied territories as illegal, including those in east Jerusalem.

Betty Herschman of Ir Amim said the latest announcement had particular significance as it was the first since Donald Trump's upset US presidential election win earlier this month.

Israeli right-wingers have been hoping that the maverick Republican will prove far less critical of settlement expansion than President Barack Obama.