Israel announced on Thursday it would build 1,800 more homes over the Green Line in response to the formation of the new Fatah-Hamas government.
It followed an announcement Wednesday night of 1,500 new units to be built in the region.
“When Israel is spat upon, it has to do something about it,” Housing Minister Uri Ariel told Israel Radio, adding that tenders had been issued for constructing housing units as a response to what he termed a Palestinian “terrorist government.”
Ariel did not specify locations. According to Arutz Sheva, among them are 23 to be built in Efrat, 484 in Beitar Ilit, 38 in Geva Binyamin (Adam), 76 in Ariel, 78 in Alfei Menashe, 210 in Givat Zeev, and 400 in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Yerushalayim.
A spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas aid: “The Palestinian leadership will respond to this…in an unprecedented manner.”
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told Army Radio Thursday that the U.S. opposes the plans. Shapiro said, “We oppose construction in the settlements and this type of announcement about building. This would happen with or without the disagreement on the new Palestinian transitional government.”
“The building tenders announced by the Ministry of Housing are modest and long overdue,” responded Dani Dayan, foreign envoy for the Yesha Council. “I cannot comprehend how the U.S. and EU are quick to condemn putting roofs over young Israeli families, while embracing the new Palestinian Islamist terrorist government.”
Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni called the decision “another diplomatic mistake,” and told Israel Radio it would make it harder “to enlist the world against Hamas.
An Israeli government official, noted that the building would be limited to areas that Israel would expect to keep in any peace agreement.