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Israel okays controversial East Jerusalem archaeology project

Published on Apr 5, 2014 2:02 AM

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel has approved a controversial archaeology project in annexed east Jerusalem, the interior ministry said Friday, in a move likely to compound tensions threatening to scupper peace talks with the Palestinians.

The ministry "heard objections" from the Palestinians and from residents to the plans to build a visitor centre just outside Jerusalem's Old City walls in the Arab neighbourhood of Silwan, a statement said.

However it approved the project on the grounds that it "will show important archaeological discoveries to the public".

"As a tourist attraction, this will contribute to the development of the city of Jerusalem," the ministry added.

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