Municipal committee approves yeshiva building in eastern Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (JTA) — 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 Wednesday by the Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee by a vote of 4-3. Three of the floors will be underground.  The building will include dormitories and classrooms.

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

Jerusalem city council member Yosef Alaluof 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 have repeatedly clashed in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood, where a handful of Jews live among a mostly Palestinian population.