Israeli sources have reported that the Israeli Housing Ministry is planning to issue tenders for the construction of hundreds of units in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, this coming week.
Israeli daily, Haaretz, quoted a government official stating that the announcement of the bids will take place as Israeli releases 25 Palestinian political prisoners, part of the second stage of detainees’ release to boost direct talks with the Palestinians.
The new constructions will be in major settlement blocks in the occupied West Bank, and in occupied East Jerusalem.
Haaretz said that the official claimed that the understandings, mediated by the United States, leading to the resumption of direct peace talks with the Palestinians, “did not include any commitment from Tel Aviv to freeze settlement construction activities”.
It added that, during their Wednesday meeting in Rome, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, informed U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, of the new Israeli construction plan. Kerry also informed the Palestinians of the Israeli decision. more