JERUSALEM: Israel on Wednesday issued tenders for 198 new settlement homes in the southern West Bank, an Israeli NGO said.
Settlement watchdog Terrestrial Jerusalem said the Israel Lands Administration had issued "new settlement tenders (for) 84 units in Hebron, 114 units in Efrata," referring to the southern West Bank city and a large settlement near Bethlehem.
"They are all residential units," the NGO's director Danny Seideman told AFP.
Peace Now, another Israeli anti-settlement group, said in a report published on Wednesday that 2012 had been a record year for settlement activity, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government giving the green light for 6,676 new settler homes.
Later on Wednesday an interior ministry planning committee was expected to give final approval to a controversial plan to build a new National Defence College for the Israeli military on the Mount of Olives in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.
"Bringing the military academy to this sensitive spot is provocative," Peace Now's website says. (AFP)