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News Brief

August 18, 2004
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israel is allowing bids for more than 1,000 new West Bank homes despite U.S. demands for a freeze in settlement construction. The Housing Ministry on Tuesday advertised for bids on contracts to build 604 new homes in Beitar Illit, 214 in Ariel, 141 in Ma’aleh Adumim and 42 in Karnei Shomron. This followed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s order to rescind some previous offers for bids for fear of upsetting the Unites States, which received an Israeli pledge not to expand settlements under the “road map” peace plan with the Palestinians. U.S. officials did not immediately comment on the new ads. Israel has insisted that the freeze does not apply to established settlements that likely will be incorporated into Israel in any future peace deal.

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