February 25, 2015 | Quote

Israeli Settlement Tenders Reach 10-Year High

The figures for Israeli settlement construction have continued to rise despite U.S. criticism of the continued issuance of tenders. Washington last month described the latest batch of tenders as “illegitimate” and “counterproductive” to peace in the region.

Grant Rumley, researcher of Palestinian and Jordanian politics at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), says the continued increase of settlement tenders and new construction work may be caused by the lack of repercussions from allies, such as the United States, deterring Israel.

“[The Israeli government] know they can do it,” he says. “They know they can issue these tenders and there is very little pushback. The retaliation rarely extends past the rhetorical.”

Daniel Nisman, president of the Tel-Aviv-based geopolitical risk consultancy The Levantine Group, says that the decision to issue tenders and construct settlement units are “based on tactical, internal considerations” within the Israeli government.

The timing of the report’s release can almost certainly be attributed to the upcoming Israeli elections and also Palestine’s impeding membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on April 1, Rumley adds.

“I think everyone is going to say it is because of the Israeli elections. But I also think this came out before April 1 when the Palestinians become members of the ICC. It’s going to add to the political playbook so to speak.”

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Israel Palestinian Politics