|The tender for 1,077 housing units in Givat Hamatos was due to open for bidding on August 2nd. As of the sending of this alert, the tender has not yet opened nor has any announcement been made by the Israel Land Authority to clarify the situation.
Ir Amim is closely following developments with tender and will update when new information arrives.
The tender was first published on February 24th at the instruction of Prime Minister Netanyahu and during the peak of his reelection campaign. Originally, it was due to open for bidding on May 3rd, which did not occur. Only in June did the Israel Land Authority publish a new date for the opening of the tender.
If constructed, Givat Hamatos will be a new settlement on the southern perimeter of East Jerusalem. Along with the Har Homa and Gilo settlements, it will seal off the connection between Bethlehem and East Jerusalem. The plan for Givat Hamatos was approved by the Jerusalem District Committee back in December 2012, but for eight years Israel has had to refrain from publishing tenders for construction in the area due to pressure from the international community.
Netanyahu decided to publish the tender for Givat Hamatos along with advancing the plans for new settlements in Har Homa E (to the east of Givat Hamatos) and E1 (between East Jerusalem and the Maale Adumim settlement). Construction of these settlements will have far reaching effects as they effectively disconnect East Jerusalem from the West Bank and fracture the Palestinian space around East Jerusalem. For this reason, they have been a red line in international policy and for many years Israel has refrained from advancing them.
Givat Hamatos, Har Homa E, and the E1 plans are marked in red in the map below.