Israel’s Housing Ministry opens bids on West Bank construction


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Housing Ministry opened bidding to developers on 200 homes in the West Bank.

The ministry issued the tenders for two construction projects, including 114 homes in Efrat and 84 in Kiryat Arba, near Hebron.

A day earlier, U.S. columnist Jeffrey Goldberg quoted President Obama as saying that "Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are" after the Jewish state had announced plans for a housing project in the controversial E-1 corridor in the West Bank between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Peace Now released a report Wednesday saying that a record number of construction projects commenced or were approved in West Bank Jewish settlements in 2012.

The government approved plans for more than 6,600 West Bank apartments and homes, and ground was broken on another 1,400 West Bank homes, the group said. The report said that 3,500 of the approvals were residential units intended for the E-1 corridor.

This compares with 1,607 housing units approved for construction in 2011, according to the report, which also said that four new settlement outposts were established in 2012.

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