JERUSALEM, (AP) – Israel plans to build 100 homes in a West Bank settlement, the government announced Friday.
The United States has pressed Israel to dismantle about two dozen outposts to comply with a peace plan that calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and other areas. Israel and the Palestinians recommitted to the “road map” plan as part of the resumption of peace talks late last year.
The construction comes in return for the recent voluntary evacuation of two unauthorized outposts that held less than 10 mobile homes, settlers and defense officials said.
The Housing and Construction Ministry published tenders for the building of the houses in the northern West Bank. The advertisement came just days after settlers and defense officials said new West Bank construction was promised.
Palestinians called off the peace negotiations briefly earlier this year in response to settlement construction. Negotiators hope to reach a deal by the end of the year.
The 100 homes are to be built in the area of the settlement of Ariel, according to the advertisement in the Haaretz newspaper. Israel hopes to hold on to the Ariel area — and several other settlement blocs — in a final deal.