The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
JERUSALEM – With the next round of Israeli-Palestinian Authority peace negotiations scheduled for next week in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet has voted in favor of a “priority building zone” list. The plan favors increased construction to existing settlements across Judea and Samaria over well-known, economically deprived cities inside the Green Line.
Sources say that several of the more isolated settlements mentioned on the list might need to be dismantled in the event that Netanyahu signs a wide-ranging peace accord with the Palestinians. During the past week Israeli newspapers reported that some municipal planning commissions and high-ranking employees within the Interior Ministry were told that Netanyahu had issued orders to stall development plans for new neighborhoods in parts of Jerusalem and several settlements. This is part of his so-called quiet, partial construction freeze during the course of negotiations.
The Ministry of Housing and Construction is currently under the control of the pro-settler, Naftali Bennett-led Habayit Hayehudi faction, a government coalition partner. The party vehemently opposes a construction freeze and the creation of a Palestinian state. The Interior Ministry is led by Gideon Sa’ar of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, who has been frequently mentioned as a future candidate for prime minister.
The Ministry of Interior reported earlier this week that Judea and Samaria added 7,700 new residents over the past year. At this growth rate, the total population of Judea and Samaria will reach approximately 370,000 by the end of 2013.
This steady growth in Judea and Samaria spurred the government to put the relatively isolated settlements of Sansana and Negohot in the southern Hebron region, along with Rechelim and Bruchim in Samaria, on the priority building zone list. More widely populated and better-known settlements such as Elon Moreh, Ganei Tal and Ma’ale Michmash were also posted on the list.
Left off the list were cities in south-central Israel like Kiryat Malachi and Kiryat Gat. Those two cities, which feature significant numbers of low-income immigrant families, have been trying to lure younger, middle-income families from central Israel in search of affordable housing, jobs, good educational opportunities for their children and cultural outlets.
The exclusion of Kiryat Gat from the list may have long-term economic repercussions, as the city is home to Intel’s largest manufacturing plant (known as FAB 28) in the Middle East. Intel executives have told Finance Minister Yair Lapid that they were willing to significantly expand their operations in Kiryat Gat and other Israeli cities, including Jerusalem, if the government provided various financial incentives. Intel currently employs nearly 7,800 workers across Israel, with more than 3,500 of them working in the Kiryat Gat facility.
The impending “mixed” northern Israeli city of Harish, which the Israeli government emphasized for construction during the previous government, was also left off the new priority list. Harish is intended to help secular, religious Zionist and haredi Jews secure cheaper housing while gaining a better quality of life and easier access to transportation arteries. Harish is also mentioned as a possible alternative for some settlers in Samaria, who might be forced to leave their nearby isolated settlements as part of a final peace agreement with the Palestinians.
While the Yesha Council lauded the government’s decision to expand settlement construction, Netanyahu came under fire from the mayors of Kiryat Malachi and Kiryat Gat. Other critics included several Knesset members from coalition parties.
Kiryat Malachi Mayor Yossi Hadad told Yediot Aharonot, “The state of Israel has turned us into their own political punching bag. During Operation Pillar of Cloud, we were hit hard by rockets from Gaza and three people lost their lives. Yet it [the government] continues to toss us aside. Our economic situation is so dire. We don’t have enough money to appeal the government’s decision to the High Court of Justice.”
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
FIFA’s Palestinian Authority soccer chief dropped the ball on his own head.
The IDF’s annual exercise “Turning Point 15″ will begin Sunday to help it evaluate various warning alert systems and public preparedness in emergency situations. The Home Front Command, Defense Ministry, the Air Force, Navy and other security forces and local authorities will participate in the week-long exercises. On Tuesday, sirens will sound throughout the country […]
It’s kind of strange that the new weapon is being used by those who call Jews “snakes.”
Cruz said everything the GOP’s Sheldon Big Bucks Adelson wanted to hear, but wouldn’t it be better to let BDS die from lack brain disease?
Israel praises FIFA for avoiding what Israel’s deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely called an “absurd situation.”
FIFA Pres. Sepp Blatter, 79, was re-elected to a fifth term heading the world soccer federation, despite bribery allegations.
At the last minute before the proposal was to go to vote, Rajoub submitted an amendment that would cancel the bid to suspend Israel.
Zurich police have confirmed there was a bomb threat to blow up the FIFA congress, but they have since allowed the annual convention to continue following a search.
Israeli Consul General refutes UJA president’s claim that government insists NIF march in Celebrate Israel parade.
They stopped Blatter from speaking, waved PA flags and demanded “Israel out.”
Reishit HaGez is the giving to the Kohen the first cuttings of the fleece of sheep grown in the Land of Israel (based on Deut. 18:4: “You are to give them the first fruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep.”). Most Jews cannot […]
Postal officials refuse mailmen’s request to be relieved of the job to deliver Baptist cult material that may be illegal.
Final steps are underway for building the City of David’s “Kedem” visitor’s center in Jerusalem that will sit on top of the “Givati Parking Lot” excavation just outside of the Old City of Jerusalem’s walls. The visitor’s center will serve as an entryway to the Jerusalem Walls National Park, which includes the City of David […]
The Orthodox Union, B’nai Brith and the Houston Federation are pitching in.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker declared Sunday, May 31 as “Celebrate Israel Day,” when thousands of Israeli Americans, Jews and supporters of Israel are to attend the Celebrate Israel Boston Festival sponsored by the Combined Jewish Philanthropies and the Israeli-American Council Boston Chapter. Gov. Baker noted that Israel remains “a tremendous partner, economically and culturally,” to […]
As of Tuesday, all IDF forces operating in Gaza withdrew and redeployed to holding positions around Gaza.
The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation on Tuesday afternoon that if the rocket fire did not stop by Tuesday evening, he would order “an even harsher” military response.
“They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” Netanyahu said shortly after the bodies were found.
Awad had been released as part of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping deal. Mizrachi’s widow, Hadas, told Israeli reporters that she had opposed the release of murderers as part of any kidnapping deal, and that Awad “deserved the death penalty so he wouldn’t kill again.”
If the abductors’ goal was to force Israeli authorities to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the effort backfired as Israeli forces are quickly rolling up what was left of Hamas in the West Bank and are reportedly contemplating the overthrow of the Hamas leadership in Gaza should harm come to the three teenagers.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/the-peace-process/with-peace-talks-set-to-resume-israel-announces-construction-priorities/2013/08/07/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: