Israel on Monday approved plans for 50 new homes in annexed East Jerusalem as Pope Francis wrapped up a visit to the region, city officials said.
“The municipality has given the green light to build 50 new housing units in five buildings in Har Homa,” city councilor Yosef Pepe Alalu told AFP.
Har Homa is a settlement neighborhood in the southern sector of East Jerusalem which was captured by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War and then annexed, in a move not recognized by the international community.
It was the first such announcement of Israeli plans to build on land captured in 1967 since the collapse last month of the US-led peace talks.
Figures quoted by Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now show that during the nine months of talks, Israel approved plans for nearly 14,000 new settler homes.
The last time Israel pushed plans for new construction was on April 1 with the re-issuing of tenders for more than 700 new homes in Gilo in east Jerusalem.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.