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Israel Set 10-Year Record for Settlement Tenders, Says Peace Now Report

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu smiles during a press conference at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014.  Israel's prime minister declared victory Wednesday in the recent war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, saying the military campaign had dealt a heavy blow and a cease-fire deal gave no concessions to the Islamic militant group.(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu smiles during a press conference at the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

 

REUTERS – Israel set a 10-year record last year for the number of tenders it issued for construction in settlements on occupied land in the Palestinian territories, the anti-settlement watchdog group Peace Now said on Monday.

In a report published as Benjamin Netanyahu is running a close race for re-election on March 17, Peace Now blamed Israel’s settlement housing plans for scuttling U.S.-brokered peace talks that collapsed in April.

The report said the invitations to bid for building contracts in the settlements had tripled since 2013 on average compared to the 2009-2013 period of Netanyahu’s previous administration.

It said Israel issued 4,485 tenders in 2014, up from 3,710 in 2013, and 858 in 2007, and that 68 percent of construction starts were in enclaves not necessarily part of blocs that Israel has vowed to keep as part of any peace deal.

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