Selin ATAY-TDO- The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee is set to approve an unprecedented master plan that calls for the expansion of Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, a move largely based on construction on privately owned Arab property.

According to Israel Hayom, known for his closeness to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, newspaper reports, the new dwellings will be included in the framework of expanding the Atarot Jewish settlement around Kalendiya.

The project, which was previously planned but halted due to “political pressures”, has been brought back on the agenda, and will be submitted to the construction and Planning Commission in the coming months for implementation.

Israel's Mayor Moshe Lion and Jerusalem Minister of Affairs Zeev Elkin also strongly supported the project, the report said.

The Tel Aviv administration has stepped up expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since Donald Trump took office as US President in 2017.

There are 252 illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which Israel occupied in 1967, and 13 in occupied East Jerusalem. More than 600 thousand Jewish settlers reside in these places. Under international law, all Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are considered illegal.

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