U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice on
Thursday called on Israel to halt all construction in all settlements,
Called on Palestinians to adopt a democratic and transparent

Rise explained that the U.S. policy on settlements is very clear:
“settlement expansion is not in line with the internationally-brokered
peace plan.”

Rice also said Israel must fulfill the obligations of the road map.

Rice also called on the Palestinians to adopt a leadership which
believes that “terror” is not a means to achieve goals, and to support
democracy and transparency.

Deputy U.S. State Department Spokesman Adam Ereli said Wednesday that
the United States was still looking into the details of tenders issued
Tuesday by Israel to build some 1,000 housing units in West Bank

Ereli explained that the U.S. understands that Israeli committed to an
entire freeze on construction in the “territories”, including “natural
growth” needs, but refrained from condemning Israel for issuing the new

The new Housing and Construction Minster Tzipi Livni explained Tuesday
that tenders were issued based on necessity in settlements that are in
the heart of the national consensus with no relation to the road map.

The Israeli Housing Ministry published Tuesday tenders for the
construction of some 1,000 new housing units in West Bank settlements.

The tenders include 604 homes in Betar Ilit, 214 in Ariel, 141 in Ma’aleh Adumim, and 42 in Karnei Shomron.

Labor party called Sharon to immediately revoke the issued tenders.

Labor MK Ophir Pines demanded that Sharon immediately revoke the tenders as a precondition for resuming coalition talks.

The Peace Now organization condemned the tenders.

‘The boss has gone mad. Sharon has decided to scoff at his government’s
promise to freeze construction in settlements. Rather than
disengagement, he is carrying out massive occupation in Judea and
Samaria [the West Bank].’ Said a statement issued by Peace Now.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Paul Patin repeated Tuesday the typical U.S.
Administration statement, reminding Israel with its road map

“ Israel has accepted the road map and all its stipulations and we expect it to abide by them,’ he said.

Government officials explained that the tenders were issued based on old plans, approved prior to may 2003.

Nabil Abu Rdeneh, an adviser to Palestinian President Yasser Arafat,
denounced the decision, repeating the typical PA call on the
international community to intervene and pressure Israel to halt