Netanyahu under pressure to authorize new Hebron construction

Naftali Bennett: “I see no justification not to approve the plan at this time.”

September 29, 2017 04:03
1 minute read.
A YOUNG Jewish settler in Hebron looks out of a window in a disputed building.

A YOUNG Jewish settler in Hebron looks out of a window in a disputed building.. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN - REUTERS)


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Right-wing politicians are pressuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to authorize the construction of 31 housing units in Hebron, saying government action to “strengthen Hebron’s Jewish community” must be carried out.

“I see no justification not to approve the plan at this time,” said Education Minister and Bayit Yehudi party head Naftali Bennett.

The plan also calls for a new kindergarten and a social welfare office to built at the site located next to the Hebron Yeshiva in an area of the city under Israeli military control. It would replace the caravans currently located at the site, called Plugat Hamitkanim, which is used by the IDF and six Hebron families.

The property was owned by the original Jewish community in Hebron that was destroyed by the Arab 1929 massacre of 67 Jews in the city. Settler leaders raised the issue with Netanyahu when they met with him Wednesday but failed to receive a commitment. They asked him to include the list of projects to be advanced or approved at the next meeting of the Higher Planning Council of Judea and Samaria.

The Planning Council is expected to meet in October, but so far no date has been set and no schedule has been published.

Deputy Minister Michael Oren, the only politician who backs a Palestinian state featured in the ad, rejected claims that he was being used by a campaign aimed at Netanyahu and Trump.

“This is a question of 4,000 years of Jewish history. In any future Israeli-Palestinian agreement, the Jewish community of Hebron would have its rights guaranteed. In the meantime, we have to make sure that community can continue to flourish,” Oren said.

A group of 10 right-wing MKs also signed a letter to Netanyahu asking him to build in Hebron.

Bennett said approval of new building was an important to counter the election of Hamas Mayor Tayseer Abu Sneineh, who was involved in a 1980 terrorist attack in the city and a vote by UNESCO to inscribe the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Hebron’s Old Town, to the “State of Palestine.”

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