NIS 70 million transfer paves way for 300 homes in Beit El settlement

Money will be used to relocate a Border Police base that currently occupies land on which the home project will be built.

January 6, 2015 00:14
2 minute read.
Homes in the Beit El settlement, West Bank

Homes in the Beit El settlement, West Bank . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu transferred NIS 70 million to the Defense Ministry to pave the way for a 300 home project in the Beit El settlement, in the West Bank.

The funds were transferred last week, but reports of the transfer only surfaced Sunday night on Channel 10. Beit El spokeswoman Yael Ben-Yashar confirmed the report on Monday.

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The money will be used to relocate a Border Police base that currently occupies land on which the home project will be built.

The NIS 70m. does not include funds to build the 300 homes.

Netanyahu had wanted to move the base earlier, but when Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid was finance minister, he blocked the funds, according to Channel 10.

Yesh Atid attacked the transfer, particularly since it comes at a time when the IDF was pulling its soldiers out of Gaza border communities.

“Once again Netanyahu is acting in his own narrow political interests rather then thinking of the public good,” the party responded.

While Lapid was in office he protected Israeli tax payers and insured their money was spent on the public good, the party said. It added that Lapid had been a protective wall against right wing pressure.

Netanyahu had promised to build 300 homes in Beit El to compensate the community for the 2012 demolition of five three-story apartment buildings, located in the Ulpana outpost on the outskirts of the settlement.

The High Court of Justice ordered the homes razed because they were built without permits, on private Palestinian property.

The government struck a deal with the 30 families who lived in the apartment buildings.

They agreed to leave of their own volition and avoid the kind of violent confrontations that had occurred in other outposts, such as when nine homes were demolished in the Amona outpost in the winter of 2006.

In exchange, the government agreed to relocate their homes and build 300 dwellings for the community in an area that housed a Border Police base.

Relocating the base paves the way for the homes to be built.

At present, those 30 families live in modular housing and none of the 300 homes has been built, according to Ben- Yashar.

Beit El, home to 5,900 people, is located in the Binyamin region of the West Bank. It lies 13.5 km. from the pre-1967 border and outside the route of the West Bank security barrier.

Israeli politicians, however, have long said that they believe the settlement will be included in the country’s final borders.

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