Knesset member: Plans to build 20,000 settlement homes not cancelled 2Dec13 December 2, 2013

253154_345x230Ma’an   -   2 December 2013
Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset Ahmad Tibi (MaanImages/file)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not in fact cancel plans to build 20,000 new settlement homes in the West Bank as he claimed, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset told Ma’an Sunday.

Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Ahmad Tibi said that Netanyahu’s claim on Nov. 13 that he had cancelled plans for the construction of 20,000 new settlements was untrue.

The invitation for housing bids on new homes was effective until Nov. 28 on the Israeli Ministry of Housing’s website, Tibi said, adding that several Israeli companies proposed bids.

Netanyahu’s supposed cancellation of the plans was a “game,” Tibi said.

A screenshot of Israel’s Housing Ministry webpage in Hebrew, which
Tibi says indicates that plans to build 20,000 new settlement homes in the
West Bank are still effective (MaanImages)

The Israeli PM said he cancelled plans to build 20,000 new settlement homes earlier this month, hours after Israel received sharp US criticism regarding their announcement.

Washington expressed “deep concern” at the plans for new settlements, which would to add significantly to the more than 500,000 Israeli settlers already living in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Netanyahu responded by saying the plans would be cancelled.

In a statement from his office, he called the plan “an action that creates an unnecessary confrontation with the international community at a time when we are making an effort to persuade elements in the international community to reach a better deal with Iran.”

The statement came weeks ahead of the breakthrough nuclear deal between Iran and world powers on Nov. 24.

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