Israel plans to build 1355 settler homes in the occupied West Bank. “Tenders have been published for 1355 homes,” the Israeli Ministry of Construction announced. The houses are being built in seven settlements.
According to Israeli media, construction will start immediately afterwards. The plans come to criticise Israel internationally. Among other things, neighboring Jordan strongly condemns construction. The government points out that settlements in occupied Palestinian territory are illegal under international law. In Jordan, a large part of the population is of Palestinian descent. But when it comes to Israel, there are even more houses in the settlements: there is talk about the construction of thousands more settler homes.
The Israeli authorities have given permission not only to build the 1355 houses, but also for at least 1300 new houses for Palestinians. These are homes in the so-called Zone C, the part of the West Bank that is under Israeli administration.
It is not often that licences are granted for so many Palestinian homes in that area. But according to critics, it still concerns a fraction of the number of building permits requested by Palestinians annually.
It is the first time since the current Israeli government has been in power that the land announces the construction of new housing in the West Bank settlements. The United States says they are concerned.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State has called on Israel and the Palestinians not to take steps that could increase tensions between them. Israeli media reports that the US would step up pressure on Prime Minister Bennett to freeze expansion plans in the West Bank.
In spring, the conflict between the two sides escalated following the imminent expulsion of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem. It led to an outburst of violence involving more than 250 deaths, especially on the Palestinian side.
Take a look at this explanation of the escalation of the conflict last spring: