Peace Now decries West Bank building amid talks

Israel promoted plans and tenders for nearly 14,000 housing units in the West Bank during the nine months of peace talks, the activist group Peace Now said.

An average of 50 apartments was built daily in the West Bank throughout the U.S.-backed negotiations launched last summer, the nongovernmental organization said in a report issued April 29.

Of the tenders issued for building new apartments, 2,248 were in the West Bank and 2,620 in eastern Jerusalem, according to Peace Now. In addition, tenders for another 1,235 were reissued for units that were not sold in previous tenders.

The average yearly number of tenders for the current Netanyahu government is four times higher than in previous governments, including the first Netanyahu government in the mid- to late 1990s, according to Peace Now.

Responding to the report, Knesset Finance Committee Chairman Nissan Slomiansky of the Bayit Yehudi party said, “Peace Now’s distortions come from frustration and an understanding that their movement is on the other side of the separation fence of Israeli society.”  — jta