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Israel to build 1,600 new settler homes in East Jerusalem
Sunday October 26, 2014 7:54 PM, IINA

Jerusalem's Committee for Planning and Construction will discuss on Tuesday a plan to build 1,600 housing units in East Jerusalem settlement of Ramat Shlomo, Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported on Friday.

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The construction at Ramat Shlomo caused a crisis in Israel-US relations in 2010, when 1,600 units were approved just as US Vice President Joe Biden was flying to Israel on an official visit.

The plan was temporarily frozen in response to United States pressure, but in late 2012, after the UN General Assembly recognized Palestine as a nonmember observer state, it was unfrozen, and tenders were issued for construction of the new units.

In a related development, the Israeli forces detained a Palestinian from the village of Susiya south of Hebron after residents took down a tent set up by Israeli settlers on land belonging to a Palestinian family in the area, a local official said.

Jihad al-Nawajaa, the head of a local village council, told Ma'an News Agency that Israeli forces detained Ahmad Muhammad Mahmoud al-Hadar, 35, after he took down a tent set up by settlers on the al-Hadar family's property.

He said that soldiers "assaulted" Palestinian villagers at the same time.

The tent was set up as an outpost to expand the illegal Israeli settlement of Susiya, al-Nawajaa said.

Al-Hadar took down the tent in order to "save our lands from Judaization and settlement."

Some settlers act without approval to expand settlements or create new ones in the West Bank, building outposts that are illegal even by Israeli government standards.

In some cases, these settlement outposts are "legalized" by Israel, and in rare cases they are dismantled.

Meanwhile, Palestinians are rarely granted permission to build in areas that make up 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control, or in East Jerusalem.

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