1187 new settlement homes announced


Published on 11 August 2013

 Written by Alternative Information Center (AIC)

Israel’s East Jerusalem settlement of Gilo, in which 400 new homes are slated to be built (Photo: Justin McIntosh, Wikimedia Commons) 


Israel will publish tenders Sunday for construction of over 1,000 new homes in East Jerusalem and West Bank settlements. Both the Americans and Palestinians reportedly knew of this plan, which Israel connects to the scheduled release of Palestinian prisoners.

Construction plans for East Jerusalem are currently for 793 new homes, include 400 new housing units in the settlement of Gilo, 210 in the settlement of Har Homa and 183 in the settlement of Pisgat Zeev.

394 new homes will be marketed in the West Bank: 117 in the settlement of Ariel (Salfit area), 149 in Efrat (Bethlehem area), 92 in Ma’ale Adumim (Jerusalem area) and 36 in Beitar (Bethlehem area).

Haaretz newspaper reports the American administration has known about this development for two weeks. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu told US Secretary of State Kerry that in parallel to announcing the release of Palestinian prisoners, Israel would announce new settlement construction.  The announcement regarding the units for sale comes just hours before the special ministerial committee will convene to select the names of the first 26 Palestinian prisoners to be released in the initial stage, which is expected to occur on Tuesday.

The Palestinian Authority also reportedly knew of this planned settlement construction announcement.  It is thus uncertain how today’s announcement by Israel will impact the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, slated to continue this Wednesday.

In making the announcement, Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) stated that “No country on earth would accept dictates from other countries regarding where it can and cannot build. We will continue to marketapartments andto build throughout the country, in the Negev and Galilee and central Israel… It’s the right thing to do.”

Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat stated that “New construction in Jerusalem is essential to its development,  to strengthen her, and give opportunity to young people toliveand own anapartmenthere.  I am very happy that Israel’s government sees eye-to-eye with us in  this need.”

PLO Secretary Yasser Abed Rabbo stated last week that Israel is using the peace process as a cover for further settlement construction. Abed Rabbo told the Voice of Palestine on Wednesday that “it will be impossible to have a political process while there are extensive efforts to create facts on the ground that will prejudice the outcome of the negotiations. We cannot be victims of this big deception called negotiations with this ongoing mad settlement activity”, he said.


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