Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the tender's release at the end of February as part of his election campaign. The tender was scheduled to open for bids on May 3rd – which has not yet happened. It was due to close (or expire) on June 22nd.
According to today's announcement, the tender will open for bidding on August 2nd, 2020and bids can be submitted until September 7th , 2020.
No reason was given for the tender not opening for bidding on the planned date. Most of the tenders that the ILA has planned for April and May did not open due to the COVID19 crisis. The setting of new dates for the Givat Hamatos tender indicates that the Israeli government has not changed its determination to advance the construction of what would be a new settlement in a most sensitive area.
Construction in Givat Hamatos would complete the encircling of the Palestinian neighborhood Beit Safafa with Israeli built -up areas. It will also join Gilo and Har Homa in creating an Israeli built-up area between Bethlehem and East Jerusalem.
For further analysis of the Givat Hamatos tender please see Ir Amim's alert.