Photo Credit: Staff Sergeant Alexi Rosenfeld, IDF Spokesperson's Unit
The Jordan Valley

Construction Minister Yoav Galant (Likud) has initiated a plan to bolster Jewish settlement in the Jordan Valley by doubling the number of residents there, Israel Radio reported Wednesday night.

Today there are some 6,000 people living in the area.


According to the plan, which is in the initial stages, the moshavim and kibbutzim in the Jordan Valley will receive money from the government for each new family that would be absorbed, and the government will remove barriers to the expansion of existing settlements.

In addition, the state is expected to fund a marketing campaign that will encourage Israelis to move to the Jordan Valley.

The plan requires cooperation with a number of government ministries and is therefore still in the process of being formulated. Galant told Israel Radio that “there is a sweeping agreement in the State of Israel that the Jordan Valley remains part of Israel in any political settlement,” therefore, “We have to strengthen the Jordan Valley and double the size of existing settlements.”

According to Israel Radio, the Jerusalem municipality is expected to approve building permits for 292 housing units beyond the Green Line. This while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is rejecting the repeal of the Disengagement Law in northern Samaria because of American pressure.

In addition, according to the same media outlet, the government has transferred millions of shekels to promote a plan to build a new neighborhood in the Atarot industrial zone in eastern Jerusalem. The plan calls for a new neighborhood for Jews to be established, with some 10,000 housing units beyond the Green Line in Jerusalem, near the Qalandiya checkpoint.