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Israel invites bids for 85 W. Bank settler homes: NGO

The tenders for the settlement, which lies immediately south of the West Bank city of Ramallah, had been issued last year

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The Israeli ministry of construction issued tenders for the building of 85 new housing units in the Givat Zeev settlement, settlement watchdog Peace Now said on Thursday.

The tenders for the settlement, which lies immediately south of the West Bank city of Ramallah, had been issued last year but received no bids from contractors so were issued again, Peace Now and the construction ministry said.

The Peace Now statement came hours before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was to present his new government to Israel's parliament for a vote of approval.

Netanyahu's new coalition, the fourth he will head, contains many ministers from his rightwing Likud party and the far-right Jewish Home committed to east Jerusalem and West Bank settlement construction, where Palestinians envision their future state.

The Palestinian leadership has already condemned the incoming coalition, with chief negotiator Saeb Erakat predicting it would seek to expand settlements and not work to reach peace.