Israel relaunches bids for West Bank settler homes

Settlement watchdog Peace Now said the housing ministry reissued the tender on Wednesday, after a previous attempt in 2013 for 84 units had failed to draw bidders.

Israel relaunches bids for West Bank settler homes

World Bulletin / News Desk

Israel on Wednesday relaunched the bidding process to build 42 new homes in a settlement in the occupied West Bank where a Palestinian stabbed to death a 13-year-old Israeli last week, an NGO said.

Israeli media have previously reported that the government had approved relaunching the tender for the homes in Kiryat Arba in the wake of the attack, though the move has not been officially confirmed.

The ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Some Israelis have called for a harsh response to a series of Palestinian attacks in recent days, including in Kiryat Arba last Thursday when 13-year-old Israeli-American Hallel Yaffa Ariel was fatally stabbed in her bedroom.

At the same time, Israel has been strongly criticised internationally over settlement expansion, with a key report from the diplomatic Quartet last week saying it was among the factors eroding the possibility of a two-state solution.

"Construction in settlements is not an answer to extremism; it is not going to save the life of any Israeli, but rather strengthen the extremists on both sides," Peace Now said in a statement.

"The real answer to extremism is ending the occupation and reaching a negotiated peace agreement. Unfortunately, Israeli citizens continue to pay the price of the extreme right-wing government's policies."

Israel's current government is considered the most right-wing in the country's history.

Kiryat Arba is located on the outskirts of the flashpoint Palestinian city of Hebron.

In addition to the tender there, Israel also this week allowed planning to move forward for 560 new settler homes in Maale Adumim, east of Jerusalem, on the West Bank.

The government also reportedly did the same for 240 new homes in settlement neighbourhoods in annexed east Jerusalem.

The Israeli military also locked down the Hebron area and the government has reduced monthly tax payments to the Palestinian Authority.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Temmuz 2016, 16:13