JERUSALEM (AP) — Jewish settlement construction in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem has spiked since President Donald Trump took office in 2017, according to official data obtained by The Associated Press. The data also showed strong evidence of decades of systematic discrimination, illustrated by a huge gap in the number of construction permits granted to Jewish and Palestinian residents. The expansion of the settlements in east Jerusalem, which Israel seized along with the West Bank and Gaza in the 1967 Mideast war, threatens to further complicate one of the thorniest issues in the conflict. The refusal to grant permits to Palestinian residents has confined them to crowded, poorly served neighborhoods, with around half the population believed to be at risk of having their homes demolished. The data was acquired and analyzed by the Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now, which says it only obtained the figures after a two-year battle with the municipality. It says the numbers show that while Palestinians make up more than 60% of the population in east Jerusalem, they have received only 30% of the building permits issued since 1991. The fate of the city, which is home to holy sites sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians, is at… Read full this story
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