The Israeli Housing Ministry declared new tenders for the construction of hundreds of new homes in Jabal Abu Ghneim “Har Homa” illegal settlement, south of occupied East Jerusalem.Ahmad Mustafa Sob-Laban, and expert in Settlement Affairs in Jerusalem, issued a press release stating that, according to recent bids issued by the Israeli Housing Ministry, 632 units will be built as part of the third phase of construction in Abu Ghneim.

The new units were approved in August 2011 by Israel’s Interior Minister, Eli Yishai. A Separate bid will be issued by the ministry for the remaining planned units at a later stage.

Sob-Laban added that the recent Israeli announcement comes parallel with the eviction of settlers from a Palestinian home they occupied in the Old City of Hebron, in order to send a message to extremist right-wingers that the government of Netanyahu is ongoing with its settlement activities.

He further stated that Israel is also ongoing with it activities that aim at isolating Jerusalem from its surrounding Arab areas, by constructing the Annexation Wall and a chain of settlement extending from “Har Homa” in the east to Givat Ha-Matos, in addition to the expansion projects of Gilo settlement and the new “National Gardens” that will be constructed on lands that belong to the Al-Walaja Palestinian village in Bethlehem district.

Sob-Laban said that Israel is also planning to construct “Givat Yael” settlement that will be the gateway for Gush Etzion settlement bloc, south of the West Bank.
Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat, announced on Monday that he wants to promote the construction of a new Jewish settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

The plan includes the construction of some 200 homes in the new Kidmat Zion settlement on lands that were allegedly purchased by American Millionaire, Irving Moskowitz, well-known for his longtime financial support to Israel’s illegal settlement activities in occupied East Jerusalem.