The Israeli government invited bids for the construction of 1,355 new settlement units in the illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported on Sunday.
This comes after 1,300 settlement units were approved for construction by the different Israeli government bodies, the first such announcement since US President Joe Biden took office.
“Just as we promised, we are now following through,” Construction and Housing Minister Ze’ev Elkin said on Sunday, according to The Times of Israel.
Israel is planning to build more than 1,300 more homes in the occupied West Bank. The number adds to some 2,000 approved in August! https://t.co/86FECCHTIs
— Ramy Abdu| رامي عبده (@RamAbdu) October 24, 2021
“Strengthening and widening the settlements in Judea and Samaria is a necessary and very important part of the Zionist enterprise,” Elkin added, using the Israeli name for the occupied West Bank. Elkin also said that he welcomed moving forward with the construction “after a long period of stagnation in building.”
The plan stated that 729 units will be constructed in the settlement of Ariel, 324 in the settlement of Beit El, 102 in the settlement of Elkana, while the rest will be built in the settlements of Geva Binyamin, Immanuel, Karnei Shomron and Betar Illit.
Israel announced that it will open tenders for the construction of 1,355 new homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem https://t.co/VadP8PHSRQ pic.twitter.com/liLFcjBGz5
— ANADOLU AGENCY (@anadoluagency) October 25, 2021
According to the Israeli media, the plan’s budget will be 224 million shekels (almost $70 million).
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said his country is “concerned” about the move, adding it is “critical for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tension and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution.”
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)