JERUSALEM  - Israel on Thursday approved construction of 400 new homes in a Jewish neighbourhood in annexed east Jerusalem and invited bids for construction of another 416 settler homes in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli Interior Ministry announced that a committee had approved a plan first unveiled in March to build 400 housing units in the Jewish neighbourhood of Neve Yaakov, in predominantly Arab east Jerusalem. Israeli authorities also called for bids for the construction of 286 homes in Beitar Ilit, a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, just south of Jerusalem. They also called for bids for construction of 130 homes in Har Homa, a Jewish district in east Jerusalem, which Israel captured and annexed in 1967, a move that has not been recognised by the international community. The Palestinians and the international community have repeatedly slammed Israel's settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and in east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as the capital of a future state. Jewish settlements are widely seen as one of the major hurdles in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians that were revived at the Annapolis conference in November but have since made little tangible progress. "Once again this (Israeli) government has shown that its words and commitments are meaningless and they have no intention of keeping to their word," the anti-settlement Peace Now group said. "The continued construction in the West Bank and in Jerusalem is another death blow to the Annapolis process," the Israeli group said. It said tenders for construction of 1,761 housing units have been issued for Jewish neighbourhoods in east Jerusalem alone since peace talks were revived.