The Israeli Housing Ministry is planning to build and market nearly 5000 new units for Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank. Lawyer Qais Yousef Nasser, a specialist in Construction and Planning Laws, stated that the Israeli Housing Ministry sold in 2010 more than 1400 units in settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and that these units were mainly sold in Homat Shmoel settlement, Maaleh Adumim settlement block, and Pisgat Zeev.

Nasser added that the ministry is planning to market 594 units in Pisgat Zeev, and that 11 units were sold last year.

1280 units are being marketed in Homat Shomel and 301 units of them were sold.

He warned that on November 4, 2010, the Israeli government issued bids for the construction of 80 new units in Pisgat Zeev and 158 in Ramot under a 98-year lease that could be extended to additional 98 years.

Nasser also stated that on November 25, 2010, the so-called “Construction and Planning Committee” in Jerusalem declared plans for the construction of 1230 units in Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa), Homat Shmoel and Ramot.

These constructions are part of a plan that was presented several months ago also advocating for the construction of 1961 units in Ramat Shlomo settlement in Jerusalem.

The United States and its President, Barack Obama, declared failure in trying to convince Israel to extend the nine-month settlement freeze that expired at the end of September this year, and admitted failure in achieving any progress in Middle East peace talks.

Israel claims that settlement activities should not impact the efforts to resume peace talks with the Palestinians, while Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his government said that the Palestinians are making excuses, and that Israel wants to resume talks.

The Palestinian stance is that peace talks cannot resume while Israel continues to build Jewish settlements in the occupied territories, including in occupied East Jerusalem, sought as the capital of the future Palestinian state.

All settlements in the occupied territories are illegal under the International Law and the Fourth Geneva Conventions.