113,000 settler units in West Bank will solve housing crisis, says Yemina

If the plan was put it place, it would mark the most rapid period of growth ever in the history of the settlement movement.

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August 22, 2019 03:13
2 minute read.
113,000 settler units in West Bank will solve housing crisis, says Yemina

The Yemina party, and leaders Ayelet Shaked, Bezalel Smotrich, Naftali Bennett and Rafi Peretz, hold a press conference in Elkana, August 21, 2019. . (photo credit: Courtesy)

The construction of 113,000 settler units in the Samaria region of the West Bank would solve Israel’s affordable housing crisis particularly in the center of the country, the Yamina Party said at an outdoor news conference on Wednesday at a construction site in Elkana.

This plan would increase the number of people living in Judea and Samaria by half a million people, bringing the total number of settlers to close to a million. That’s more than double its current figure of more than 420,000.

The party estimates that the Israeli population will reach 10 million by the year 2024, and it wants one million of those people to live in Samaria.

The five-year plan speaks of building 22,000 units a year at a price of NIS 950,000 for a four-room apartment at a location half-an-hour away from the center of the country, as well as a light rail that would ease transportation.

Additional lanes would be added to Route 5, which would also be extended eastward to reach the Jordan Valley.

To put the construction numbers in perspective, last year Israel dug ground on 2,006 new West Bank homes, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics.

The Yamina Party headed by Ayelet Shaked maintains that Israel should annex Area C of the West Bank, a move that would make the growth plan for Samaria possible.

If the plan were put it place, it would mark the most rapid population growth cycle ever in the history of the settlement movement.
Yamina presented the plan as part of its campaign to gain voter support ahead of the September 17 election. The leading Likud Party has not put forward a housing plan of the same magnitude.

Execution of the plan would depend on the will and the composition of the next government.

In speaking of the necessity for the plan, Shaked said that the location of the homes could be near the Gush Dan area, an area she said is already as dense as Gaza and as expensive as New York.

There is no “magic” solution to the housing crisis, and all previous attempts to resolve it have not worked, she added.
Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich said the plan was necessary both from a social welfare perspective and from a diplomatic and strategic perspective.

The development of the Jordan Valley in particular is dependent on improved transportation and easy access to the center of the country, which is what this plan provides, he added.

The left-wing Democratic Union Party warned that Yamina wanted to turn Israel into a nation of settlers and re-educate it to follow Jewish law.

Labor Party head Amir Peretz accused Shaked and Smotrich of forsaking the welfare of the country, and particularly those in the periphery, to advance a narrow right-wing agenda on behalf of the settlers.


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