Israel's Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Ahmad Tibi has revealed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not halted the construction of 20,000 housing units in the West Bank settlements, as he had previously announced, as the tender is open until the present moment.
Tibi explained: "the tender to construct 20,000 housing units in the occupied West Bank territories, which Prime Minister Netanyahu declared to be halted, is still open and can be seen on the Ministry of Housing's web site."
Tibi explained that upon viewing the Ministry's web site, a word in Hebrew appears on the far right side near the tender's announcement, which means that the tender is "active" and still open for interested applicants. The tender remained active until 28 November, the tender's original deadline. The tender has not been halted or withdrawn. Several Israeli companies have submitted official bids through the government. Netanyahu's announcement was just throwing dust in our eyes."
Two weeks ago, Israel's Minister of Housing and Construction Uri Ariel also denied Netanyahu's announcement that plans to construct thousands of housing units in the West Bank settlements have been halted. Ariel told Israel's official radio station that: "the construction in the West Bank and Jerusalem settlements will not freeze even during the ongoing negotiations with the Palestinians."
The Palestinian Authority had threatened to halt peace negotiations with Israel in response to the massive settlement announcement. But it now appears that Netanyahu's declaration that there would be a construction freeze was only media propaganda.