The United States is still looking into the details of tenders issued Tuesday by Israel to build some 1,000 housing units in West Bank settlements.
Even when Deputy U.S. State Department Spokesman Adam Ereli explained that the U.S. understands that Israeli committed to an entire freeze on construction in the Ã¢â‚¬Å“territoriesÃ¢â‚¬Â, including Ã¢â‚¬Å“natural growthÃ¢â‚¬Â needs, he refrained from criticizing Israel for issuing the new tenders.
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 obligations.
‘ 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 construction.