UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, yesterday expressed his concerns about Israel accepting bids for building new settlement units between Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
In a statement, Mladenov said: "I am very concerned by the decision of the Israeli authorities yesterday to open the bidding process for the construction of Givat Hamatos."
Mladenov added: "If built, it would further consolidate a ring of settlements between Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank."
He stressed: "This would significantly damage prospects for a future contiguous Palestinian State and for achieving a negotiated two-State solution based on the 1967 lines, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states."
The UN envoy reiterated: "Settlement construction is illegal under international law and I call on the authorities to reverse this step."
Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now warned yesterday that Israeli authorities had issued a tender for the construction of 1,257 settlement units between the occupied East Jerusalem and Bethlehem.