The Israeli government, this Friday, published tenders to build 430 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, the head of an NGO which monitors settlement activities told AFP.’It’s the opening of the settlement floodgates,’ said Daniel Seidemann, head of the Terrestrial Jerusalem group, adding that the announcements were the first since October of 2014, and unlikely to be the last before the March 17 general election.
He said that the new homes were to be built in four existing settlements across the West Bank — 112 in Adam, 156 in Elkana, 78 in Alfei Menashe and 84 in Kiryat Arba.
Mr. Seidemann, whose group particularly monitors settlement in occupied East Jerusalem, predicted that building plans there were likely to be announced soon.
‘I don’t think it’s over,’ he said. ‘I would be very concerned.’
He linked the new tenders to the election in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party coalition is competing with other right-wing parties for the settler vote.
‘This could hardly be an accident,’ he said. ‘It could not have taken place without Netanyahu’s knowledge and consent.’
Israel first began military occupation of the West Bank in 1967, during the Six-Day war.
Settlements are illegal under international law.