(photo credit: REUTERS)
Warning that a de-facto freeze exists for housing tenders in West Bank
settlements and Jewish east Jerusalem homes, settler leaders and Construction
and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) met Tuesday night.
urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to allow Ariel’s office to authorize
thousands of new housing tenders over the pre-1967 lines.
refused to accede to the Palestinian demand that he freeze West Bank settlement
activity and Jewish building in east Jerusalem. But he has temporarily placed a
hold on issuing new housing tenders over the pre- 1967 line as part of his
understanding with Washington that he will not take active steps that would
thwart American efforts to rekindle direct talks with the
“In spite of the prime minister’s repeated promises,
including public pledges, tenders have not been published, including those
promised more than a year ago,” said Avi Ro’eh, who heads the Council of Jewish
Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.
Ariel told him, “There
is nothing [technical] that prevents my office from publishing
He explained to the settler leaders that all the bureaucratic
procedures were finished, and he was only awaiting authorization to publish the
“The problem becomes more acute as time passes,” Ariel
Ro’eh said he was surprised to hear Ariel tell him that there was
“no legal or bureaucratic impediment to publishing the tenders.”
added, “I call on other ministers to act without delay on the
The council also set up a special task force to advance the
publication of tenders.
Peace Now confirmed that no new tenders have been
issued for West Bank settlements or Jewish homes in east Jerusalem since
But the organization’s Hagit Ofran said that the government has
continued to engage in other settlement activity, including the advancement of