Israel Approves New Building in East Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM (AP) -- The Jerusalem municipality has approved 20 new apartments for Jews in an Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem, the city said Wednesday, in a move that could stir a new diplomatic crisis with the United States just as Israel's leader is in Washington on a fence-mending visit. The announcement marked the second time this month that Israel has announced new construction in the disputed section of the holy city during face-to-face meetings between top U.S. and Israeli officials. The Obama administration is seeking "clarification" of the latest building plan and continues to believe Israeli construction in Jerusalem is destructive to the Mideast peace process, said White House spokesman Tommy Vietor. Israeli lawmaker Eitan Cabel accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of unnecessarily provoking the U.S. "Is this another 'unfortunate' mistake? Is this another 'misunderstanding?'" said Cabel, a member of the Labor Party, which sits in the governing coalition.
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