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Jerusalem municipality approves 186 new settlement units

March 19, 2014 12:25 P.M. (Updated: March 22, 2014 12:37 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel moved forward Wednesday with plans to build another 186 new homes in East Jerusalem, a city councilor told AFP.

The plans would see construction of 40 new homes in Pisgat Zeev and 146 in Har Homa, both of them settlement neighborhoods built on territory seized by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War, Yosef Pepe Alalu said.

An official of the Israeli left-wing party Meretz told the Hebrew-language news site Walla that the municipality officials came to the conclusion that the chances of a peace deal with the Palestinians had become very slim.

As a result, the municipality sped up construction activities, the official said.

The municipality knows "construction in Har Homah weakens chances of reaching a peace agreement," he added.

Israel's government has announced the construction of thousands of housing units in illegal settlements since peace talks began in July.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
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