Set­tle­ments au­tho­rised

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY ANSHEL PF­EF­FER

AF­TER AN 18-month set­tle­ment freeze, Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu told a group of right-wing politi­cians this week that he would au­tho­rise 454 new flats in the Jerusalem neigh­bour­hood of Ra­mat Shlomo, which lies be­yond the Green Line.

Mr Ne­tanyahu has stressed that he has been block­ing new build­ing projects in the West Bank and east Jerusalem due to in­ter­na­tional pres­sure. In the past 18 months, the only set­tle­ment to re­ceive build­ing per­mits was Bet El.

The build­ings in strictly-Ortho­dox Ra­mat Shlomo had been au­tho­rised in the past, but the plan­ning process was frozen for over a year.

The green light is seen as a con­ces­sion by Mr Ne­tanyahu to his pro-set­tle­ment coali­tion part­ners and was post­poned un­til this week to avoid new tension with the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion ahead of last week’s White House meet­ing.

The build­ing per­mits are just one of a num­ber of ges­tures made by the prime min­is­ter to the right wing, which in­clude out­law­ing the north­ern branch of the Is­lamic Move­ment. The group has been ac­cused of in­cit­ing violence on Tem­ple Mount .

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