Germany has taken a swipe at Israel over the Tel Aviv regime’s fresh plans to build new settlement buildings in the occupied West bank and East Jerusalem (al-Quds)
The German deputy government spokesman, Georg Streiter, on Sunday described Israel’s initiative as a “devastating” signal to any bilateral talks.
Israel has repeatedly been criticized by the international community for illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The new plan by Israel envisions construction of at least 1,028 buildings in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The plan includes 500 units in the Har Homa neighborhood of East Jerusalem, 348 in the Beitar Ilit settlement near Bethlehem, and 180 in the Givat Ze’ev settlement in the West Bank.
The call for tenders by the Housing Ministry on Sunday "undermines belief in Israel’s willingness to negotiate," the German spokesman said.
Israeli officials said the settlement units were being marketed "as a follow-up to the Palestinian UN membership bid in September."
Acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas submitted an “application of the state of Palestine for admission to membership in the United Nations” to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on September 23.
Germany had previously urged Tel Aviv to stop settlement construction activities to avoid endangering talks with the Palestinians.
The European Union has also voiced concerns about Israeli settlement buildings in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying that the settlements are "illegal under international law."
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims that Israel has the right to build in East Jerusalem.