The Jerusalem district planning and building committee delayed a settlement project in Atarot, an area of eastern Jerusalem.

The planned settlement was given preliminary approval last month. It would contain about 9,000 homes and be located within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries, reported Reuters.

The building committee decided to put the brakes on the project on Monday, saying that an environmental study is needed.

According to the report, the Palestinian foreign ministry called the plan a bid to finalize “the separation of Jerusalem from our outlying Palestinian area.”

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken about the project.

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