Angela Merkel
Photo: EPA
Har Homa

Germany: Israel must refrain from new settlements

Berlin says Israel's recent announcement of 1,000 new apartments in West Bank, east Jerusalem conveys 'devastating message' regarding peace process

A spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany is urging Israel to refrain from constructing new settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.


Georg Streiter said Monday Israel's recent announcement that it would seek contractors to build some 1,000 apartments in both areas conveys "a devastating message with regard to the current efforts to resume peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians."


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He says Germany "urgently calls on the Israeli government to refrain from inviting bids for the apartments."


500 יחידות נוספות בהר חומה בירושלים (צילום: רויטרס)

Extra housing units in Har Homa (Photo: Reuters)


Meanwhile, hundreds of housing units will be marketed beyond the Green Line as part of tenders published by the Construction and Housing Ministry and the Israel Land Administration on Sunday.


Among the housing units, 348 will be built in the hraedi town of Beitar illit, 500 in Har Homa in south Jerusalem and 180 in Givat Ze'ev.


Previous announcements of construction beyond the 1967 lines prompted outrage by the Palestinians, the US, Europe and the UN.


"Some countries won't be pleased with this (tenders), but they won't be surprised," said Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias (Shas). "The decision was reached last month after the Palestinians were accepted into UNESCO, and the right thing to do was to alleviate the shortage of housing units designated for young couples in Israel – with an emphasis on the capital, Jerusalem."


Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 12.19.11, 15:39
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