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Jerusalem 'plans to build synagogue in settlement'

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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and President Shimon Peres walk past an honour guard during a wreath laying ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem April 12, 2010.

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AFP – Jerusalem authorities plan to give the green light to build a new synagogue and school in east Jerusalem on land seized from Palestinians, Israeli army radio reported on Tuesday. The land was seized from its Palestinian owners shortly before planning for the buildings started in the 1990s, the radio said.

The construction project in the Gilo neighbourhood, a Jewish settlement, still needs final approval from the city’s planning commission, whose head Kobi Khalon said this would be a formality.

But Khalon, who is also deputy mayor, added: “We must act with prudence and responsibility as Jerusalem is an explosive city.”

Under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s orders, Jerusalem’s planning commission — whose approval is needed for any construction project in the city — has not met since the ill-timed announcement during Biden’s visit, said city council member Meir Margalit. Its first meeting for more than a month will be on Thursday, when it is expected to approve the Gilo project, said the leftwinger.

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