Contrary to its commitment at the Sharm El-Sheikh summit, the Israeli government is publishing tenders for 940 new housing units in the settlements of Efrat and Beitar Illit, and 89 in East Jerusalem, revealed the settlement watch group Peace Now in a new statement.
“This is yet another harmful and unnecessary construction initiative, as part of the messianic coup that is unfolding alongside the regime coup. The most extreme right-wing government in the history of the country is not only trampling on democracy but also on the possibility of a future political agreement, and on our relations with the US and friendly countries. Lies and violations of these commitments are a sure way to turn Israel into an isolated country,” said the organization.
The Israel Land Authority (ILA) published tenders on Wednesday, March 22, for the construction of 940 housing units in the settlements of Efrat and Beitar Ilit. In the settlement of Beitar Illit, 747 housing units are being planned in 11 different complexes. 727 of these units are part of the “Targeted Housing” program (encouraging eligible citizens, mainly young families, to purchase their first home), it said.
In Efrat, 193 housing units are being planned, all part of the “Targeted Housing” program. On Tuesday, March 21, the ILA published another tender for 89 housing units in the Gilo Settlement neighborhood in East Jerusalem. This tender is also part of the “Targeted Housing” program.
In total, the ILA published tenders for a total of 1,029 housing units in the West Bank this week. As previously reported, following a meeting between Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Jordan, and U.S. mediation on March 19, it was decided to halt construction for four months in an attempt to calm tensions in the area ahead of the Ramadan month.
Despite Israel’s commitments to its allies around the world, it appears to continue promoting construction that harms the chances for a political agreement and increases tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in both the short and long term, said Peace Now.