4,600 new homes approved for Judea and Samaria, Despite UN and Biden

Some 2,400 more are on the agenda for Thursday, the second day of the meeting of the Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Higher Planning Council gave approval Wednesday for the building of 4,600 new homes throughout Judea and Samaria, with a total of 7,000 to be given the nod by the end of its two-day meeting Thursday, the Yesha Council reported.

Over 400 housing units were approved for Elazar in the Gush Etzion bloc near Jerusalem. This will bring to an end the saga of the government’s forced evacuation and razing of 15 homes in the nearby young settlement of Netiv Ha’Avot in 2018, after the High Court of Justice determined that they stood on private Palestinian property.

The cabinet had approved a process to begin legalizing the rest of the village, which stood on state-owned land. These new units will sextuple its size, which currently stands at 68 homes, as it is incorporated into Elazar.

The Yesha Council announced that the first master urban building plans were also validated for the young settlements of Pnei Kedem in Gush Etzion, and Mevo’ot Yericho near Jericho. The latter was the only so-called outpost authorized by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government in its 2019 iteration. With 120 houses approved, Pnei Kedem will now officially become a neighborhood of the adjacent village of Meitzad, which is also known as Asfar.

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Kiryat Arba, next to Hebron, will also be expanding, with 378 new homes, large public buildings, and 150 dorm rooms for students who will be learning in a new college that will be built in the town.

Local regional council head Eliyahu Liebman declared the day a “holiday” for the decision, saying, “The face of Kiryat Arba-Hevron is going to change when hundreds of housing units will be built and hundreds of young couples will come here, to the city of [our] ancestors that will develop and prosper.”

In a Facebook post, the Yesha Council, which is the umbrella organization of all the local authorities in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley, also mentioned the “deposit of thousands of units in Ma’ale Adumim [near Jerusalem]” and “hundreds of housing units … approved in effect for Kedumim” in Samaria, as well as others in various smaller villages.

“The State of Israel proved today that no terrorism will subdue us, we are here to stay,” it cheered.

Another 2,400 units are expected to be approved Thursday, the last day of the Planning Council’s meeting.

It comes directly on the heels of a unanimous UN Security Council statement that condemned Israeli settlement activities following Jerusalem’s authorization earlier this month of nine young settlements, most of which have been existence for at least two decades.

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The Biden administration worked hard to remove the binding anti-Israel resolution that had been on the UNSC table in its stead, but has repeatedly stated that it views all Jewish building in Judea and Samaria as an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians. It is not expected to be happy with the outcome of the Council’s work this week.