Israel unveils tenders for 1,028 new settlement units

a Palestinian places a flag on a fence outside Ofer prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday, as Palestinians gather to wait for the release of Palestinian prisoners (Reuters photo by Mohamad Torokman)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel’s housing and construction ministry said on Sunday it was to publish tenders for the construction of more than 1,000 housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

According to the ministry’s website, the tenders are for 500 new units in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Abu Ghneim (known to Israelis as Har Homa), and more than 500 in two West Bank settlements: 348 in Beitar Ilit near Bethlehem, and 180 in Givat Zeev northwest of Jerusalem.

The tenders were part of a package of nearly 6,000 housing units which are to be built across Israel and the West Bank, the Israeli ministry said in a move which was angrily denounced by the Palestinians.

“The Palestinian Authority strongly condemns the Israeli government’s decision to build a thousand new housing units in Jerusalem and the West Bank,” said negotiator Saeb Erekat.

“This new colonial decision by the Israeli government, which we condemn, undermines efforts to establish peace in the region,” said presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina.

The Israeli construction ministry spokesperson Ariel Rosenberg told AFP that the new settlement units were being marketed “as a follow-up to the Palestinian [UN membership] bid in September”.

The Palestinian attempt to seek full state membership at the United Nations has deeply angered Israel, which says such a state can emerge only through bilateral peace negotiations.

A month later, the Palestinians won full membership at the UN cultural organisation UNESCO, prompting an Israeli government decision on November 1 to increase settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Since then, Israel has issued announcements for 3,298 new settler housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, official figures show, including 2,230 published on November 15, another 40 on December 12 and 1,028 on Sunday.

Of that number, 2,057 will be built in East Jerusalem and 1,241 in the West Bank.

read more on Jordan Times

Note by the editor: Now Israel uses the excuse that the new construction is approved because of Palestine’s bid for a nation status at the UN. Before there were other excuses and later on there will be others still. Palestine and all their friends have to find some totally new approach. Everything so far did not work. Probably to aim for Democracy and equal rights under a one state solution will be the next approach.

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