Israel’s Ministry of Housing and the Israel Land Authority issued tenders for the construction of more than 2,500 new housing units in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
The human rights watchdog Peace Now first reported the tenders issued on Wednesday, the same day as Joe Biden is set to be sworn in as US president. The Biden Administration is expected to oppose continued building in the settlements.
The new construction tenders issued on Wednesday are in addition to nearly 800 housing units advanced earlier this week. A tender gives contractors the right to submit bids to build the houses and market them. It will take about two years until construction actually begins.
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Most of the housing units are located in settlements that Israel is expected to evacuate under a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
The announcement also comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a stiff election challenge from right-wing, pro settlement politician Gideon Saar.