Israeli committee advances plan to build Jewish studies center in east Jerusalem

A Jerusalem city council member says the city has advanced a plan to build a Jewish seminary in an Arab neighborhood of east Jerusalem — the section of the holy city claimed by the Palestinians for their future state.

The move threatens to set off a new crisis in U.S.-brokered peace talks.

Pepe Alalo says a planning committee gave its approval Wednesday to build a nine-story study center in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Alalo, who opposed the plan, says it still needs further approvals. But Nimr Hamad, a Palestinian official, called it "a new obstacle on the road to peace."

Alalo says the proposal had been delayed when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the region to advance peace efforts.

The municipality had no immediate comment.