Israeli govt authorizes bid for 1,000 settlement homes


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government has authorized construction bids for more than 1,000 new homes in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The move comes just a week after Israeli and Palestinian officials met in Egypt’s southern resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh in an effort to calm rising tensions ahead of Ramadan.

Following the meeting, Israel repeated a pledge made at a similar February summit in Aqaba, Jordan, to temporarily freeze the approval of new settlement units in the occupied West Bank.

The anti-settlement Israeli group Peace Now publicized the construction bids on Friday, and said that this was “yet another harmful and unnecessary construction initiative.”

It accused the Netanyahu government of “trampling on the possibility of a future political agreement, and on our relations with the US and friendly countries.” It added that the government had issued tenders to build 1,029 homes in the Palestinian territories.—Agencies