Netanyahu approves 300 new housing units in Dolev in response to attack

"We will take root and cripple our enemies," Netanyahu said. "We will continue to strengthen and develop the settlement."

August 27, 2019 03:16
4 minute read.
Netanyahu approves 300 new housing units in Dolev in response to attack

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the Efrat settlement located in the Gush Etzion region just outside of Jerusalem. (photo credit: IGOR USDACHI)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to more than double the size of the West Bank settlement of Dolev, following Friday’s attack at a nearby spring that claimed the life of 17-year-old Rina Shnerb, and wounded her father, Eitan, and 19-year-old brother Dvir.

“We will deepen our roots and strike at our enemies,” Netanyahu said on Monday. “We will continue to strengthen and develop settlement” in Judea and Samaria.

The IDF continued its sweep of the West Bank in search of the terrorist cell that remotely detonated a bomb near the Ein Buvin pool, also known as Danny’s Spring.

News that the IDF arrested four Palestinian men near Ramallah sparked rumors that it had uncovered the terrorist cell. Yisrael Beytenu Party head Avigdor Liberman wrote on his Twitter account that security forces have caught the terrorists behind the attack. Dvir Shnerb tweeted, “Congratulations to security forces and IDF soldiers who caught the vile terrorists,” but subsequently deleted the message.

Three Palestinians were also arrested over the weekend, but the IDF has not linked any of the arrests to the terrorist cell that executed the bombing near Dolev.

Security forces are concerned that further bomb attacks may follow. On Monday, the IDF detonated an explosive device that was found close to Route 555 near Eilon Moreh in Samaria.

“It’s shocking to think of the disaster that would have occurred if the bomb had not been found,” Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said.

At Dani’s Spring, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said she was praying that the security forces would soon settle accounts with the terrorists responsible for Shnerb’s death.

“People do not know how many terrorist attacks are foiled every week,” she said.

Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz said that Netanyahu had asked him after the attack what he could do to strengthen Dolev. He said Netanyahu’s statement about new building was just one of a number of steps he believed the prime minister would take.

Netanyahu instructed the director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office to submit a plan for 300 housing units for Dolev at the next meeting of the Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria. The project would substantively increase the size of the community of over 1,300 located eight kilometers over the Green Line and beyond the route of the security barrier.

The Yamina Party immediately attacked Netanyahu, saying the gesture was inadequate. It urged him to immediately convene the council to approve the building, particularly in light of the pending release of US President Donald Trump’s peace plan. Yamina, which is battling Netanyahu’s Likud Party for right-wing votes, noted that it took the prime minister a year to make good on his pledge to build 300 homes in Beit El.

“We hope there will be a shorter waiting time for the 300 Dolev homes,” the Yamina party said.

South Hebron Hills Regional Council head Yossi Damri and Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne’eman called on Netanyahu to annex the West Bank in response to the attack.

Building approvals after a terrorist attack are always welcome but will do little to prevent the next murder, said Damri, adding that a right-wing government should build in Judea and Samaria as a matter of course on a daily basis. Similarly, Netanyahu’s government must apply sovereignty to Judea and Samaria, he said.

Damri also called on Netanyahu to deport the family members of the terrorists responsible for the attack, saying that Netanyahu must face Hebron, Ramallah and Gaza with the same determination that he shows in pursuing Iran.

The Yesha Council was more restrained, welcoming the prime minister’s gesture and noting that a new neighborhood of Dolev “would significantly expand Israel’s presence in the western Binyamin area.”

The left-wing group Peace Now said it was sad to see that “Netanyahu has adopted the morbid conception of the settler Right that there is a payoff in the form of settlement expansion for the blood of terrorism victims. This calculation cynically turns terrorism into a political tool to promote an ideological vision, without bringing up the issue for national debate on whether we want to forever control the West Bank at the cost of our democracy.”

President Reuven Rivlin visited Eitan and Dvir Shnerb, who are recovering at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem.

“The way in which Am Yisrael has taken us to its heart leaves us speechless,” Eitan told him. “Our people are strong and we want to strengthen you too, Mr. President. We are all so strong and pray for the peace of the world and above all for our children’s safety. It is clear to me that if we do not love each other, we have no chance. I think that’s what Rina would like. She was so deep and thought so much about life, her purpose in this life and what home she would have. Always with joy, a smile.”

Replied Rivlin, “Your spirit and abilities, Rabbi Eitan, both spiritual and leadership, strengthen us so much here in this country. We weep for Rina, and she deserves our tears. But we also get up and carry on. And it is so important for us to continue to make sure Rina’s voice continues to be heard. Choose life and keep strong.”

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