Occupied Jerusalem: Israeli officials gave final approval Thursday to 153 east Jerusalem colonies, the deputy mayor said, adding to a sharp increase in such projects since US President Donald Trump took office.
Occupied Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman told AFP the approvals by a city planning committee were among those held up due to pressure from former US president Barack Obama's administration.
Turgeman said developers "could start building from tomorrow".
Following Trump's inauguration, Turgeman spoke of plans for some 11,000 homes in process for annexed east Jerusalem.
"I'm going to deliver permits for thousands of homes in Jerusalem in the coming months," Turgeman said.
Thursday's approvals were for the colony neighbourhood of Gilo.
Israel has announced a major colony expansion in the days following Trump's January 20 inauguration.
On Sunday, the city planning committee approved building permits for 566 colony homes in east Jerusalem.
Two days later, the defence ministry announced plans for 2,500 colony homes in the occupied West Bank.
Trump has pledged strong support for Israel, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government has moved quickly to take advantage.
In a telling break with the Obama administration, Trump's White House has not condemned Israel's colony expansion.
The announcements have deeply concerned those seeking to salvage a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Colonies are viewed by much of the world as illegal and major stumbling blocks to peace efforts as they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.
Obama's administration, like much of the world, warned that colony expansion was gradually eating away at prospects for a two-state solution.