On election eve, Netanyahu advances plans for 4,615 new settler homes

On Thursday the Ministry of Housing and Construction published tenders for 956 new settler homes.

By
April 7, 2019 22:06
2 minute read.
On election eve, Netanyahu advances plans for 4,615 new settler homes

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plants a tree on the outskirts of Elazar in Gush Etzion on January 26, vowing not to uproot settlements in any peace deal. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

On the eve of the Israeli election, plans were advanced for the construction of 4,615 new homes in West Bank settlements, according to a report compiled by the Left-wing group Peace Now.

The advancement of these plans is done with the approval of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Defense Minister, a post that Netanyahu also holds.

The Higher Planning council met on Wednesday and Thursday to advance plans for 3,659 units. A total of 1,226 units were given final approval and 2,433 were advanced.

On Thursday the Ministry of Housing and Construction published tenders for 956 new settler homes.

Peace Now published a list of the plans, in the aftermath of statements by Netanyahu that he intended to annex West Bank settlements in his next government.

“Netanyahu has decided, officially or unofficially, to annex the West Bank to Israel, otherwise one cannot explain the promotion of thousands of units for Israelis in the Occupied Territories,” Peace Now said.

“The construction of the settlements only makes it harder to end the occupation and to get to a two states peace agreement and is bad for the Israeli interest to remain a democratic and secured state,” it added.

The council is scheduled to meet quarterly. The number of approvals is among the highest during a single council meeting, particularly when coupled with the tenders. It is certainly the highest number of approvals at one time since US President Donald Trump took office.

But a large proportion of the homes that were advanced or approved were concentrated in a small number of settlements.

Plans for 1,000 new units in the Efrat settlement in Gush Etzion were deposited and plan for 603 new homes were finalized in the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement.

The council also authorized the outpost of Harsha as a new neighborhood of the Talmon settlement and advanced plans for 720 new homes there.

Approval was given for the construction 289 homes in the Kfar Adumim neighborhood of Alon, which is near the illegal Bedouin herding village of Khan Al-Ahmar.

In Beitar Illit, the council approved construction of a bridge over private Palestinian property that would connect two areas of the city.

Yesha Council deputy head Yigal Dilmoni said he was please to hear of each approval and the hoped that building permits would keep pace with the growing needs of the Jewish population in Judea and Samaria.


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