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Apr 27, 6:06 AM EDT

Israel advances plans for new homes in Jewish area of east Jerusalem claimed by Palestinians


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JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel has given the final go-ahead for new construction in a Jewish area of east Jerusalem - the area of the city the Palestinians demand as the capital of a future state.

The Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now says it is the first time in nearly a year that Israel has issued building tenders in east Jerusalem.

The Israel Land Authority published tenders for 77 housing units in Neve Yaakov and Pisgat Zeev. Israel considers both areas - already home to tens of thousands of Israelis - to be neighborhoods of its capital. The international community considers them settlements.

Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed it.

Lior Amihai of Peace Now said Monday that construction could begin within months.

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