Push for over 2,000 settler homes, after 617 Palestinian structures razed

Plans to retroactively legalize 180 homes in the MItpze Dani outpost as a neighborhood of the Ma'aleh Mikhmas settlement is expected to be advanced.

Demolition of al-Abed family home comes less than a month after deadly attack  (photo credit: COURTESY IDF SPOKESMAN'S OFFICE)
Demolition of al-Abed family home comes less than a month after deadly attack
Israel is set to advance plans for at least 2,061 settler homes this Wednesday and Thursday at the quarterly meeting of the Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria.
Ahead of the meeting, the left-wing group Peace Now published a preliminary list of the plans, which include authorizing two outposts. Plans to retroactively legalize 258 homes in the Harshea outpost, making it a legal neighborhood of the Talmon settlement, are expected to be approved.
Plans to retroactively legalize 180 homes in the Mitzpe Dani outpost as a neighborhood of  the Ma’aleh Mikhmas settlement are expected to be advanced.
The largest project will be the advancement of plans for 534 new homes in the Shvut Rachel neighborhood of the Shiloh settlement.
Other plans in the works include: 160 houses for Kochav Yaakov; 136 for Givat Ze’ev; 120 for Karnei Shomron; 220 for Anatot; 107 for Elon Moreh; 100 for Halamish; 92 for Zufim; 63 for Ma’aleh Adumim; 25 for Peduel; 12 for Ariel; 10 for Etz Efraim; and seven for Rechilim.
Separately, 147 homes in Mitzpe Yericho are to be retroactively legalized, according to Peace Now. The move comes in the aftermath of the cabinet vote over the summer to transform the Judean Desert community from an outpost to a settlement.
Peace Now accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of advancing of plans for settler homes to curry favor with the voters at the expense of any future peace deal with the Palestinians.
“The next elected government must freeze settlement development immediately, resume negotiations with the Palestinians without preconditions and strive to end this conflict through a two-state solution, lest the status quo continues until we cannot escape from a permanent one-state reality and lose our democracy in the process,” it said.
In contrast, settler leaders and right-wing politicians celebrated on Monday the development of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, which they say are critical to the nation’s security, part of its biblical heritage and should be included within the country’s final borders.
Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev helped inaugurate a sports center in the South Hebron Hills region, and Public Safety Minister Gilad Erdan inaugurated a police station in the West Bank city of Ariel.
According to Peace Now, Israel advanced plans for 8,337 settler homes in 2019.
Separately, according to the United Nations, Israel has demolished or seized 617 structures in the West Bank, thereby displacing 898 Palestinians. The numbers represent a 32% jump in demolitions and a 92% increase in the number of people displaced, compared to the same period last year, the UN said.
“Over 20% of all structures targeted in 2019, and some 40% of all donor-funded aid structures, were located in firing zones, which cover about 30% of Area C,” it added.
The UN publishes monthly and annual statistics on Israeli and Palestinian activity in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.