Photo Credit: Gili Yaari / FLASH 90
Peace Now Chairman Yariv Oppenheimer

The Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) declared some 4,000 dunams of land in western Gush Etzion as state land Sunday.

The decision opens the door for expedited construction of Jewish homes at the site.

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The Gush Etzion regional council welcomed the announcement, and hoped the step would be a prelude a new city in the Gush.

G’vaot has been the site of a small kibbutz for many years, but the Civil Administration has held plans for up to 40,000 Jewish apartments in the wadi between G’vaot and Beitar Illit, but construction has been delayed because of left-wing and Arab objections to the project.

As expected, Chairman of the radical Peace Now organization, Yariv Oppenheimer, reacted to the announcement quickly, saying the move was a “stab in the back” to Israel’s legendary peace partner, Palestinian Authority President Abu Mazen.

That’s the same Abu Mazen who recently threatened to go to the UN to demand a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

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