Yeshiva building gets approved for eastern Jerusalem

An Israeli yeshiva geared toward English speakers interested in becoming more religiously observant received permission to build a campus in eastern Jerusalem.

A 12-story building for the Ohr Sameyach yeshiva in the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah was approved last week by the Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee by a vote of 4-3.

The project must go through several more approvals before it can be built, which could take several years.

Jerusalem City Council member Yosef Alalu of the left-wing Meretz party called the proposed building a “provocation” meant to derail the current U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

Jews and Arabs clash repeatedly in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood, where a handful of Jews live among a mostly Palestinian population. — jta