Four new residential buildings in East Jerusalem were approved by the Jerusalem planning and building committing on Monday, the Israeli daily Haaretz reports. The four buildings, which will house a total of 24 apartments, will be constructed in an area east of the borders of Jerusalem’s Old City.Haaretz writes that the project in question ‘was initiated and constructed by American Jewish millionaire Irving Moskowitz, who also owns the Shepherd Hotel in East Jerusalem. That hotel made headlines last year when Moskowitz obtained a permit to build 20 apartments for Jews there, sparking angry protests from the U.S. government.’
The approval comes just a week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel intends to build another 700 apartments in East Jerusalem. Both the Obama Administration and the European Union have voice criticism, saying Israel’s ongoing annexation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank makes the two-state solution all the more difficult to implement. According to an Israeli Basic Law adopted in 1980, ‘Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel.’
All of the planned apartments will be available only to Jews, meaning not even Palestinians holding Israeli citizenship will have access to them.