Panel Approves 4-Story Building in Eastern Yerushalayim

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters/Hamodia) -

A Yerushalayim municipal panel approved on Wednesday construction of a four-story building for Jewish residents in eastern Yerushalayim after postponing a vote on permits for hundreds of other homes in the same area, an NGO said.

Ir Amim, which opposes Israeli building over the Green Line, said the structure would be erected on a vacant plot in Silwan, a Palestinian neighborhood with a Jewish enclave adjacent to the City of David.

“Today, while attention has been focused on the removal of … building permits … the committee proceeded to approve a controversial project in one of the most flammable neighborhoods in East Yerushalayim,” Ir Amim said in a statement shortly before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was to make a policy speech on Israeli-Palestinian peace.

The request for the building had been submitted by members of Ateret Cohanim, an organization dedicated to building Jewish homes in the area.