Israel Building 700 New Jerusalem Housing Units
Israel reissued a call for tenders on over 700 housing units in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo on Tuesday, according to the extreme-left group Peace Now. Gilo is over the 1949 Armistice line being discussed as possible borders in the US-led peace talks.
The precise number of housing units being put up for tenders in the neighborhood of the capital city stands at 708 according to the group.
"This morning, the Israel Land Authority announced this project, which is actually a renewed tender which was published (in two parts) last year but found no bidders," Hagit Ofran of the far-left group told AFP. The tenders reportedly have been reissued under better conditions, meaning they will likely be taken.
"The ministry of housing is trying to forcefully undermine the peace process ... and (US Secretary of State) John Kerry's efforts to promote it," accused Ofran. Israel did not agree to a construction freeze as a pre-condition to the ongoing peace talks.
The announcement comes the same day that reports revealed a US proposal to release Jonathan Pollard, now in his 29th year in an American jail on charges of spying for Israel, in return for Israel releasing over 400 Arab terrorists and imposing a partial construction freeze in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
Sources told Arutz Sheva that the proposed freeze "won't be a complete freeze. Tenders and projects already being built will continue, as well as government and public buildings in Jerusalem."
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has reportedly refused to a full construction freeze, and will only halt construction for government buildings in Judea and Samaria. According to Channel 2, he is in the midst of updating senior ministers on the status of the deal.
Peace Now, "legitimizing murderers" and "supporting terror"
Peace Now has come in for criticism recently. Last week the group was under fire for "legitimizing murderers and rapists" by taking part in a conference organized by some of the world's worst human rights abusers, including the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Peace Now's campaigns manager Yaniv Shacham delivered a speech in Ecuador as part of the two-day anti-Israel symposium, which was sponsored by a wide range of authoritarian regimes, entitled "UN International Meeting on the Question of Palestine."
Similarly, Peace Now Director Yariv Oppenheimer was criticized last Tuesday for supporting terror on Israel. In a comment on Twitter, he labeled an Arab terrorist, who was shot while sabotaging Israel's security fence and ignoring IDF orders to desist, as "another unarmed Palestinian child."