Israel approves construction of almost 2,000 new homes in Judea and Samaria

Communities deep into Judea and Samaria were among those cleared for construction of new homes.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The IDF’s Civil Administration approved this week construction of homes throughout Judea and Samaria, including in areas outside the large settlement blocs.

The year 2018 will be considered a banner year for construction in Judea and Samaria, if all the approvals for new homes given both Wednesday and last week by the Civil Administration actually break ground in the coming months.

The US Trump administration has been less critical of Israeli housing construction in Judea and Samaria than previous administrations.

The Civil Administration’s High Planning Subcommittee gave the final go-ahead for 696 units, and pushed 1,262 units through to a more advanced planning stage, according to the Times of Israel, which stated that some 300 of those that gained approval for ground-breaking are in smaller communities that are not in the so-called “settlement blocs.”

One of those more isolated communities that is set to gain from today’s work is Kfar Adumim, which will get 92 new homes, according to Haaretz. The new neighborhood will connect existing neighborhoods with a planned educational campus to serve the entire region.

The report also noted that many of the building plans that the Civil Administration approved involved rezoning land from agricultural to residential use.

The Gush Etzion Regional Council announced that some 450 of the permits were granted for its area.

It should be noted that some of these housing units may have been counted twice, once today and once in Thursday’s announcement by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman that 2,500 new homes had been approved for Judea and Samaria. (The 170 houses for Neve Daniel, for example, were mentioned both times.)

Gush Etzion, which is one of those aforementioned blocs, has much bigger plans, however, as its council is working on a strategy for 17,000 units in all, as reported by Arutz-7.

Council head Shlomo Ne’eman made a point of thanking the government for the approvals, while calling for the removal of all restrictions on construction in Judea and Samaria.

“We will continue to submit more and more plans, we will continue to build, we will continue to develop Gush Etzion — and we will work towards full sovereignty,” he said.