‘Record number of housing tenders over Green Line’
Israel this year published the largest number of housing tenders – 3,046 – in the last decade over the pre-1967 lines, according to report issued by Peace Now over the weekend.
It calculated the number of housing tenders issued in east Jerusalem and the West Bank to place in perspective Israel’s announcement that it would publish an additional 3,000 such tenders, a move which it said, could bring the number of pending new units over the pre-1967 lines to 6,046 this year.
The last time a large number of new homes over the pre-1967 lines were announced was in 2003 with the publication of 2,512 tenders, according to Peace Now.
After that, 1,685 tenders were issued in 2004, 1,908 in 2005, 1,549 in 2006, 858 in 2007 and 1,505 in 2008.
When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu first came into office in 2009, he issued only 170 tenders that year and 615 in 2010.
In both years all tenders issued were for Jewish construction in east Jerusalem.
Netanyahu issued no new tenders for West Bank settlements in 2009 and 2010.
But that changed after two incidents in 2011. In March, two Palestinians entered a home in the Itamar settlement, killing Ehud and Ruth Fogel, along with three of their children Yoav, 11, Elad, four, and Hadas, three months.
In October, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization accepted Palestine as the 195th member state of its organization.
Netanyahu’s response to both incidents was to order new housing. In 2011, 1,009 new tenders were published for West Bank settlements and 312 for Jewish building in east Jerusalem, according to Peace Now.
In 2012, 660 housing tenders were published for West Bank settlements and 2,386 for Jewish homes in east Jerusalem.
But while Netanyahu has increased the number of published tenders, the number of housing starts in West Bank settlements in the last three years has been the lowest in almost two decades of construction.
According to numbers published by the Central Bureau of Statistics last week, work has begun on 653 new homes in West Bank settlements in the first three-quarters of 2012.
In 2011, there were 1,088 new housing starts, compared with 1,963 in 2009, 2,324 in 2008 and 1,471 in 2007, according to the CBS.
In 2010, there were only 730 new housing starts, a number that was heavily impacted by the 10-month moratorium on such activity, which ended in September of that year.
The number of homes under active construction is similarly the lowest in almost two decades, with only 1,409 new homes in West Bank settlements under active construction in the first three-quarters of 2012, according to the CBS.
In 2011 1,759 new settler homes were under active construction, compared with 2,314 in 2010 and 3,300 in 2009, according to the CBS.
Housing finishes in West Bank settlements were more on par with past years, according to the CBS.
In 2011, work was completed on 1,681 settler homes, compared with 1,670 in 2010 and 2,063 in 2009, according to the CBS.
In the first three-quarters of 2012, work was completed on 1,036 new settler homes in the West Bank.