Israel plans to build over 3,000 new settler homes in occupied territories to punish the Hamas backed Palestinian Authority

Israeli Minister of Housing announces tenders for construction projects in the West Bank and East Jerusalem

Jerusalem

Defying criticism at home and abroad of its announcement that it will build 1500 units of settler housing in occupied territory to punish the Palestinian Authority for forming a government backed by the militant Hamas group, Israel has said that it will advance plans for another 1800 units of such buildings next week.

The plan to hold a meeting next week “to move ahead plans” for more settler housing was confirmed to The Independent by Guy Inbar, a spokesman for military administrators. It came only hours after the Israeli Minister of Housing, Uri Ariel, announced tenders for the West Bank and the Ramat Shlomo settlement in occupied and annexed East Jerusalem, terming this “an appropriate Zionist response to the establishment of the Palestinian terror government.” It was the first issuing of tenders since the collapse of the peace process more than a month ago. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had slapped a moratorium on new tenders, apparently to avoid attracting further blame for the demise of the talks. But that is now over. Mr Ariel said the tenders were “just the beginning”

Palestinian leaders said they would not remain quiet over the settlement expansion and spoke of using their non-member state status at the UN to hold Israel accountable for violating international law. Settlement contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention's ban on an occupying power settling its nationals in the occupied territory.

US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro criticised the building plans and within Israel, the justice minister, Tzipi Livni, who was also chief negotiator with the Palestinians, predicted they would backfire. “This is a diplomatic mistake that will only make it more difficult for us to mobilise world opinion against Hamas.”

Other Israeli leaders, however, blamed the international community for purportedly being duped by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and by Hamas to believe the Palestinian government is merely one of technocrats rather than reflecting Hamas's espousal of Israel's destruction. “The terrorist organisations are trying to dress themselves up as civilised and sane but even if a snake wears a fashionable modern suit it will still remain a snake,” cabinet minister Uzi Landau told Israel Radio.

The United States, European Union and United Nations have all made clear they will deal with the new Palestinian government that was sworn in on Monday after its ministers were chosen in consultation with Hamas as part of a Palestinian national unity pact. The government's main task is to prepare for legislative and presidential elections but Israel has said it will thwart any effort to hold balloting in East Jerusalem.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy