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Turkey condemns Israel approval of new settlements
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Agencies - Turkey on Sunday condemned Israel's approval for more illegal settlements in occupied east Jerusalem.

"We condemn Israel's advancement of the approval process for 1,500 additional units in the illegal settlements in the Israeli-occupied east Jerusalem," a Foreign Ministry statement read.

"These illegitimate steps, by violating the basic principles of international law, harm the basis for the two-state solution," it added.

Earlier this week, Israeli authorities issued building permits for over 1,500 settlement units in occupied east Jerusalem.

Israel occupied the West Bank -- including east Jerusalem -- during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the Jewish state in a move never recognized by the international community.

International law views the West Bank and east Jerusalem as "occupied territories" and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity on the land to be illegal.

Palestinians accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to "Judaize" the historic city with the aim of effacing its Arab and Islamic identity and driving out its Palestinian inhabitants.