In a move certain to shake already fragile Middle East peace talks
Israeli officials have approved building plans for more than 5-hundred-50 new homes in Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, land the Palestinians want as their capital.
Israel's Jerusalem municipality said Wednesday that its planning committee had approved the construction work in three settlements in a part of the West Bank that Israel captured in the 1967 war and later annexed.
Israel says the initial plans for the new homes were approved years ago.
Palestinians are furious with the decision, saying it could derail U.S.-brokered peace talks, which resumed in July last year.
The expansion of Israeli settlements is considered illegal under international law.