Photo Credit: Noam Moskowitz / Flash 90
The Ulpana Hill neighborhood of the town of Beit El is in the middle of a political storm over Palestinian claims to the land and a draconian Supreme Court decision.
The Ulpana Hill neighborhood of the town of Beit El before it was destroyed by court order

The state has decided to increase the new neighborhood planned for Beit El in Samaria, from 296 to 650 new housing units. The new plan follows a decade in which two neighborhoods were evacuated and not a single new home built in Beit El.

After the evacuation of the Ulpana neighborhood in 2012, the residents were promised compensation in the form of about 300 new housing units. The area picked for the construction was an evacuated Border Police base. But for a variety of reasons, the project was stuck.

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In 2015, after the evacuation of the two Dreinoff apartment buildings in Beit El, the same compensation was promised to the residents.

Now, at last, following two years of planning procedures and delays at the Civil Administration, and after a delay of about two years, construction is expected to start in about a month, except that it won’t be the previously promised 300 units (296, actually) but — according to an agreement last week between the Beit El Council and the Housing Ministry – a whopping 650 housing units.

The new construction is expected to increase the local population by approximately 65%.

Shay Alon, head of the Beit El council, said in a statement: “This is a true message of hope for the residents of Beit El and for the entire settlement enterprise. Thanks to our stubborn struggle, the Council will grow in the near future by hundreds of housing units and thousands of new residents. This is a wonderful gift for the new year. ”

Indeed.

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