Israeli sources have reported that bids for the construction of 793 new settlement units will be announced soon, as part of a plan to build 1500 new units in a number of Jewish settlements in the Jerusalem district, and around it.The sources said that, three months ago, Israel approved the marketing of lands for the new constructions, and that the bids will be concluded this coming Monday.

The bids are for the construction of 400 units in the Gilo settlement, 210 in Abu Ghneim (referred to as Har Homa), 183 in Pisgat Zeev, 149 in Efrat, 92 in Ma’ale Adumim, and 36 in Beitar Illit.

Israeli weekly, Yerushaleim, stated that, until last August, Israel used what it called “Calm Freeze” of settlement activities and refrained from approving 2500 units in occupied Jerusalem, despite the fact that construction plans are ready.

It said that the claimed freeze is meant to push direct peace talks with the Palestinians, but after the talks were resumed, Israel gradually approved hundreds of units in occupied Jerusalem.

Those bids include 1500 new units in Ramat Shlomo settlement; one of the companies participating in the bid specializes in constructions meant for religious Jews.

The company is currently trying to buy lands in Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa) in order to market apartments with what was described as very competitive prices.

The construction and expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories is one of the main obstacles to direct political talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel’s settlements, built of Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem, violate the Fourth Geneva Convention and International Law.

Settlements and the Annexation Wall in occupied Palestine are devastating the Palestinian economy, causing villagers to lose their lands, and isolating them from what is left of their lands, and are turning the occupied territories into isolated cantons.