The Israeli government is ongoing with its expansion plans in the
occupied West Bank; on Thursday, it issued tender bids to build 164 new
homes for settlers in three settlements in the West Bank despite its
obligation under the US-backed Road Map plan to halt constructions on
Palestinian occupied lands.

The so-called Israeli Lands Administration that belongs to the government, issued a tender for bid on 88 plots in Ariel settlement, 56 plots in Alfei Menashe and 20 in Karnei Shomron. All are constructed on lands illegally annexed from the Palestinians.

The Israeli Peace Now Movement slammed the plan and said that “this tender harms the interests of Israel and is considered a provocative procedure that does not even represent the majority of the Israeli public.

The new tender comes less than three weeks after the Israeli government decided to build 690 new homes in the settlements Maali Adumim and Beitar Ilit; the bid was issued on September 4.

The bid is the  biggest since the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert took office in May, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.

The “Lands Administration” said that 98 housing plots were marked in the West Bank in the period between January and August.

The recent tender brings the total number of plots this year up to 952. 2005 plots were offered in 2005 and 1075 in 2004.

Olmert was planning before the war with Lebanon to unilaterally dismantle some small settlements and outposts but without withdrawing from major settlement blocs.

The plan, according to Haaretz, was shelved by Olmert after the month-long war with Hezbollah fighters. The war ended in August 14 when a cease-fire deal was struck.

All settlements in the occupied territories are branded by the World Court as illegal and constitute a war crime, but Israel rejected and disputes this.

There are at least 240.000 settlers living in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian population there is 2.4 million. All West Bank settlements are illegal, build on lands illegally ceased from the Palestinians, the West Bank was occupied after the 1967 six-day war.