Israel advances plans to build 1300 homes in Judea and Samaria

Israel has advanced plans for the construction of some 1300 new homes in Judea and Samaria.

The Israeli Defense Ministry, the body responsible for authorizing construction in Judea and Samaria, on Tuesday approved and advanced plans for some 1,300 housing units throughout the region.

Times of Israel reported that the Civil Administration’s High Planning Subcommittee also approved another 296 homes to be marketed for sale in Beit El, thus fulfilling a promise made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to replace homes razed there in 2012.

The 1,292 units include 146 in Nokdim in Judea, 97 in Rehelim in Samaria, 55 in Tomer, and 27 in Maskiot in the Jordan Valley.

In Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem, 344 units were advanced for Kfar Etzion and 68  for Elazar.

Beit El Mayor Shai Alon hailed this new development.

“We hope that these 300 units are just the tip of the iceberg for more housing unit approvals. As they build in Rishon Letzion, Kfar Saba, and Ra’anana, so too we should build in Beit El, Ofra and Efrat,” he said in a statement.

The extreme-left Peace Now organization condemned the approval, saying the government has “gone wild” in approving plans “deep in the West Bank.”

The High Planning Subcommittee will be convening again on Wednesday, and will probably advance plans for some 650 additional housing units in Judea and Samaria.

On Monday, the Civil Administration’s Licensing Subcommittee granted building permits for 31 housing units in Hebron.

Many Promises, No Action

Israel has approved the construction of thousands of residential units in Judea and Samaria since US President Donald Trump took office last January, but has yet to execute the plans. Despite repeated reports of approved Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, little has come to fruition.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan harshly criticized Netanyahu and his government for “missing an historic opportunity that won’t likely recur. There is currently a US president who, even if he does not agree [with Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria], will not condemn it to the extent that was done during the Obama era.”

In a meeting with leaders from Judea and Samaria two weeks ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conceded that Trump, who hopes to bring about an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, was willing to accept limited Israeli building in the region.

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News