Israel has called for bids to build 50 new homes in a West Bank settlement, despite repeated U.S. demands that it halt such construction.
The White House says it continues to oppose Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank and will ask Israel for clarification of the new building plans.
Also today (Monday), Prime Minister Ariel Sharon hinted that he may support delaying Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip and four small settlements in the West Bank because of a conflict with an annual Jewish mourning period. He said Tuesday ministers will consider delaying the withdrawal date from late July to mid-August.
In the southern Gaza Strip today, Israeli security forces said a Palestinian sniper shot two Israelis, wounding both of them. A coalition of Palestinian militants (Popular Resistance Committees) claimed responsibility for the attack.