Israel pushes on with east Jerusalem building plan

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JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel says it is pushing forward with plans to build hundreds of homes in a Jewish settlement in east Jerusalem.

An Interior Ministry committee on Monday gave intermediate approval to the construction of 1,500 housing units in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, a part of the city Palestinians claim for a future capital.

The ministry says the project still must go through additional planning stages, and it could be years before construction begins.

The announcement is nonetheless expected to anger the Palestinians and even Israeli allies who oppose settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The project was first announced in 2010 during a visit to Israel by Vice President Joe Biden, causing a major diplomatic rift with Washington that took months to mend.

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