Liberman announced that the government will green-light thousands of housing units in Judea and Samaria this year and next.
By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced Thursday that a major building push will be started next week to expand 30 villages and towns in Judea and Samaria.
The Higher Planning Council for the region will give final approvals for 2,500 new houses to be built already this year. It will also advance the plans for 1,400 more, including a 250-unit assisted-living facility in Elkana. The latter number, however, may already be part of some 10,000 homes already advanced last year.
“We will promote building in all of Judea and Samaria, from the north to south, in small communities and in large ones,” Liberman said, promising approval for thousands of homes in the coming months.
The most housing starts will be in Maaleh Adumim, a Jerusalem suburb, with 460 units, and the university town of Ariel, with 400 units. In the Gush Etzion bloc, 170 units will be approved for Neve Daniel with another 160 for Kfar Etzion. Talmon (180) and Kiryat Arba (150) will gain the next most. Smaller villages will get a few dozen new homes each.
If the plans are implemented, the jump in construction will be significant. The Central Bureau of Statistics said ground was broken on only 1,626 housing units in all of Judea and Samaria in 2017, a drop of 47% from the year before.
Building plans have been shelved after initial announcements. Residents of Amona, whose homes were destroyed in accordance with a Supreme Court order, had to wait 13 months between the time the government promised to give them land to rebuild their homes and when the construction finally began in February.
Amichai, the community that will replace the Amona homes that were destroyed, is the first new, officially sanctioned Jewish town in Judea and Samaria since the Rabin government imposed a freeze on new villages in 1992 in conjunction with the signing of the Oslo Accords.