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Israel invites tenders for more settler homes ahead of Kerry visit

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Israel invites tenders for more settler homes ahead of Kerry visit


Israel has issued tenders to build more than 1,700 new homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.

The move, which comes a day ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry, has been condemned as destructive for the peace process by the Palestinians.

Fatah spokesman, Ahmad Assaf, said: “This is a denial of Palestinian rights and a blow to the signed international agreements and international law. It’s destroying the American efforts. Therefore, what we need now is to hear the American reaction, we need a clear reaction to prevent Israel from continuing with their plans.”

Kerry, who helped revive Israeli-Palestinian talks in July after a three-year break, is now on a Middle East visit that will also bring him to Israel and the West Bank.

Israel’s decision to go ahead with the construction is being widely seen as an attempt to placate government hardliners, angry over last week’s release of Palestinian inmates convicted of killing Israelis.

Freedom for the men, regarded by Palestinians as heroes in their fight for statehood, was part of US-brokered understandings that led to the revival of the peace talks.

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