P.A. angered by housing tenders for east Jerusalem

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A plan by Israel to add more than 1,200 housing units in eastern Jerusalem has strengthened the Palestinian Authority’s resolve to ask for upgraded status at the United Nations, a spokesman for P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas said.

On Nov. 6, Israel’s Construction and Housing Ministry reportedly published tenders, or offers to bid, for the construction of 607 housing units in Pisgat Ze’ev and 606 in Ramot, both Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told the French news agency AFP that it only reinforces the Palestinians’ desire to ask the U.N. General Assembly this month for an upgrade to nonmember state status.

In a statement, Peace Now said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “chosen the day of [the U.S. presidential] election to publish the tenders so that there will be the least public attention to his action.”

In addition, the ministry reissued tenders for 72 housing units in the West Bank settlement of Ariel. The units were not sold when offered last December, according to Peace Now. — jta