Israel announces re-issuing of settlement housing tenders

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — Israel’s Housing Ministry reissued tenders for the construction of 450 housing units in the West Bank.

The ministry published the tenders Friday, triggering condemnations by Palestinian officials and protests by Israelis opposed to construction beyond Israel’s Green Line.

“This is a war crime which should push the settlements issue to the International Criminal Court,” Palestine Liberation Organization official Wassel Abu Yusef told AFP.

Yariv Openheimer, the chairman of the anti-settlement Peace Now movement, speaking on Israel Radio, blamed the elections in March for spurring the tenders.

A ministry spokesperson told Israel Radio the tenders were published in the past and were automatically renewed because they have not been realized.

Settlements Adam and Elkana accounted for 104 and 156 of the apartments respectively, with another 102 to be built in Kiryat Arba near Hebron. The remaining 78 units, Israel Radio reported, are to be built in Alfei Menashe.