Israel advances plans for new West Bank settlement homes

WEST BANK - NOVEMBER 22:  View of the concrete separation wall between the Palestinian city of Abu Dis and Israel, November 22, 2004. With Gaza already being separated by a security fence from Israel, the 350 km long border between the West bank and Israel is much more complicated to separate. Disputes of where the border should run, how to create a Palestinian state where all points connect to one land and the splitting of Jerusalem are the main issues. However walls, fences and other techniques of separation are currently under construction along the so-called "Green Line," the unofficial boundary separating the Palestinian West Bank from Israel proper. (Photo by Shaul Schwarz/ Getty Images)
Photo credit: Getty Images

Israel on Sunday published tenders for about 1300 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank and authorities are also expected to discuss proposals for another 3000 homes that have already drawn concern from the United States.

The Israel Land Authority posted the tenders for new houses to be built in a number of settlements in the West Bank, which are on land that Palestinians want for a future state.

A government planning committee is also expected in the coming week to discuss the proposals for about 3000 new settlement units. A State Department spokesman said on Friday such steps may raise tensions and hurt efforts to reach a peace deal.

The West Bank-based Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the new settlement plans could have a "catastrophic impact on chances to make peace on the basis of the two-state solution and on regional, U.S, and international efforts to build confidence between the Israeli and Palestinian sides".

U.S.-backed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014. Most countries regard Israel's West Bank settlements as illegal.