The Ministry of Housing issued an official statement on the intentions to publish tenders for 2,230 new housing units beyond the Green Line. 1,557 of the housing units are planned in East Jerusalem (749 in Har Homa, 743 in Ramot and 65 in Pisgat Ze’ev), and the remaining 673 units, are planned for different settlements in the West Bank: Ariel – 277 housing units; Efrat – 277; Har Adar – 79; and Maale Edumim – 40 housing units.
This is an unprecedented amount of tenders. Since the beginning of Netanyahu’s government in March 2009, tenders for 785 housing units in East Jerusalem were published, and none for the settlements in the West Bank.
Tenders are the last stage before construction may begin. Several months after the publication of the tender, the winning bid is elected. Then, contractors can apply for construction permits from the municipality, a procedure that takes several months and then the bulldozers may begin the construction.
It is important to mention that this announcement by the Ministry is not an official publication of tenders but a general announcement of the intention to publish those tenders in the near future.
Not all construction in the West Bank requires tenders. In some settlements, the marketing of the land is done without a tender through the Settlement Division in the World Zionist Organization or other bodies. This is why although there were no new tenders issued under Netanyahu’s government in the West Bank (except from East Jerusalem) we witnessed high amounts of construction taking place throughout the West Bank. In East Jerusalem most of the construction projects are initiated by the government and done by tenders and we did see publication of 785 tenders in East Jerusalem by the Netanyahu government.