Israel issues tender for illegal buildings on occupied land

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said "I don't know how many times the Israelis have to do this for the international community to open its eyes. Can't the world see this is destroying the peace process."

Israel issues tender for illegal buildings on occupied land
By World Bulletin with wires

Israel issued on Thursday a tender for the illegal construction of 447 housing units in settlements in the Jerusalem area, breaking its previous promises in peace talks with Palestinian officials.

Palestinians said the Jewish state are sabotaging chances of peace.

Under the tender, Israel will build some 130 housing units in Har Homa, an area Palestinians refer to as Jabal Abu Ghneim. The tender also calls for construction of 317 housing units in Beitar Illit, a settlement near Jerusalem.

Palestinians see the building in Har Homa as the last rampart in a wall of settlements encircling Arab East Jerusalem, cutting it off from the rest of the occupied West Bank.

Palestinians want the land for a future state with Arab East Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel continues settlement expansions although a U.S.-sponsored "road map" for peace calls for Israel to freeze all settlement expansions which the World Court has said settlements are illegal.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the latest tender made clear Israel was choosing settlements over peace.

"I don't know how many times the Israelis have to do this for the international community to open its eyes. Can't the world see this is destroying the peace process," he said.

Israel has vowed to continue construction there despite all the condemnations.

Several similar tenders have been issued since Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas launched U.S.-sponsored peace talks last November.

Olmert, dogged by a corruption investigation, announced last week that he would step down as prime minister once his centrist Kadima party chooses a new leader in September, a move some officials saw as a fatal blow to the negotiations.


Last Mod: 08 Ağustos 2008, 17:15
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