A special meeting of the Knesset Interior Committee, headed by MK Dudi Amsalem (Likud), with Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) and heads of the Yesha Council, presented for the first time a master plan to solve the problem of high housing prices in central Israel – by expanding the definition of the term just a little bit. The plan is an effort to solve the severe housing shortage in Gush Dan, a.k.a. Metropolitan Tel Aviv, and the rising housing prices in the area with massive construction in western Samaria, which would be renamed “the new Gush Dan ” or “Eastern Gush Dan.”
“All the area from Avnei Hefetz, Oranit, Nili, Na’ale, Gush Halamish, Talmonim, from Kfar Sava to Ben-Gurion Airport, is vital to life in Gush Dan,” said Minister Galant in the committee meeting, which marked the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War and Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.
Galant added, using a tone usually associated with Habayit Hayehudi: ” The Jordanians sat until 1967 on the hills of Avnei Hefetz and in Tzofim over Qalqiliya. The distance from there to the coast is 10 miles. A little further northeast, the Iraqis invaded during the War of Independence. The southern line, from the Judean Desert to Sansana, separates [Arab] Hebron, Yatta, and Dora from the Bedouin settlements in the Negev. From there to Dimona and the craters, that entire region is plagued by riots of the Bedouin population which aims to take control of this area and do with it as it wishes. Every Bedouin in the eastern Negev is married to four women from Mount Hebron (in the PA) and collects Social Security for them. […] Jewish settlement along the southern Hebron hills is vital. We have to do something about it.”
Ariel Mayor Eli Shviro told the committee: “The addition of 100,000 housing units in the area from Alfei Menashe to Modi’in Illit has the potential of lowering housing prices, and is a solution for those who want to live in Gush Dan.”
“We offer a new Gush Dan, which has eight industrial parks, a university and a college,” he boasted.