Israel has given preliminary approval for the construction of 243 new homes in East Jerusalem and pushed forward plans for another 270 homes in the same area, officials have announced.
The land in question was captured by Israel in a 1967 war and annexed to Jerusalem in a move never recognised internationally. Palestinians, who seek statehood in Israeli-occupied territory, want it as part of a future state.
Jerusalem's municipal planning committee authorised 243 new housing units in Ramot, a municipal spokeswoman said. It also approved changes to pre-existing plans for 270 homes there and in Har Homa. Israel describes both settlements as Jerusalem "neighbourhoods".
US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in April.
It comes as the former Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi urged Britain to unilaterally recognise Palestine as an independent nation.
Speaking to The Independent after her first visit to the occupied territories since resigning over Britain’s stance on the conflict in Gaza, Baroness Warsi said the UK Government’s policy of “Israeli appeasement” was not working.
Additional reporting by Reuters