Israeli authorities has given final approval to the construction of 380 new illegal settler homes in two areas of occupied East Jerusalem, a local official said.

"The municipal commission has given construction permits for 307 homes in  Ramot and 73 in Har Homa," Yosef Pepe Alalu, a Jerusalem city councillor with the opposition Meretz party, told the AFP news agency on Wednesday.

Haaretz newspaper reported that final building permits can now be issued and once that has been done, construction may begin.

The collapse of US-brokered peace talks, Israel's war last summer in the Gaza Strip against Hamas, and continued Israeli settlement construction in East Jerusalem have added to the distrust between Israel and Palestine.

About 200,000 Jewish Israelis live in settlement areas like Ramot that ring East Jerusalem to help cement Israeli control.

Settlement building in the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War is considered illegal under international law, and the issue remains one of the most divisive in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Source: Agencies