JERUSALEM -- Israel on Tuesday published tenders for the construction of 1,285 new units of Jewish housing in the Jerusalem area and the West Bank settlement of Ariel, all on land seized by Israel during the 1967 Middle East war, according to the anti-settlement group Peace Now.
The new housing proposals, one of the biggest tender offers in months, includes 607 units in Pisgat Zeev and 606 units in Ramot, both located on land that Israel annexed into Jerusalem but that Palestinians claim for their state.
Another 72 units will be built in Ariel, a large Jewish settlement built deep in the West Bank near Nablus.
Plans for the units were previously announced and approved by the government. The tender offer represents one of the final stages before construction can break ground.
Peace Now officials criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for expanding settlements beyond the Green Line that marks land seized in 1967 and accused the Housing Ministry of trying to hide the last announcement by releasing it on a day that attention was focused on U.S. elections.
-- Edmund Sanders
Photo: The Jewish neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev in East Jerusalem is seen in 2009 with the Shuafat refugee camp in the background and Israel's separation barrier running between them. Israel said Tuesday that it was pushing forward with construction of more than 1,200 new homes in Pisgat Zeev and another Jewish enclave in east Jerusalem as well as Ariel, a large Jewish settlement in the West Bank. Credit: Sebastian Scheine / Associated Press