JNS reports: Following the Israeli government’s announcement of plans to approve nearly 800 apartments in Jewish communities located in contested eastern sections of Jerusalem, residents, experts and government officials say the new housing projects will not hinder Israel’s ability to resolve the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Many such construction announcements had been frozen for several years due to strong opposition from former U.S. President Barack Obama and the international community. Yet the new administration of President Donald Trump did not criticize last week’s approval of new Israeli construction in Jerusalem and in the West Bank, with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer saying in a briefing that “Israel continues to be a huge ally of the United States,” without directly addressing the construction issue.
Jerusalem policy expert and veteran Israeli journalist Nadav Shragai, a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, contended that the newly announced Jerusalem housing units are in already-large, well-established Jewish neighborhoods, and that the new buildings will not shift the demographic borders between Jewish and Arab communities within the city.
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