In any other country or territory the approval for building 900 new housing units would be seen as a routine piece of municipal administrative paperwork and not a news story.

But when the municipality involved is Jerusalem, and the land the Israelis are building on is Palestinian, those housing units become an illegal settlement and consequently make the headlines.

This particular stroke of an Israeli administrator’s pen has been interpreted by the global news media as a very public rebuff, by the Netanyahu government, of the Obama administration’s efforts to re-start peace talks between Israel and Palestine.

The international media’s spotlight has been fully on a place called Gilo which most news outlets call a settlement, but others, primarily Israeli and American, say is just a disputed neighbourhood.

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