Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event
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.
Israel’s political landscape awoke Wednesday to the latest ceasefire with a sharp round of criticism for Prime Minister Netanyahu, and jostling for position amongst senior politicians who have begun to smell the aroma of early elections, possibly in the first half of 2015. Even prior to the end of Operation Protective Edge, members of the […]
Palestinian terrorists threw stones at Jewish-owned cars in the Wadi Joz section of Jerusalem Wednesday. Three children were injured and treated on the spot. A 22-year-old man was arrested, and police told Israel Radio the man has confessed to other incidents as well. In Shuafat, in northern Jerusalem, Palestinians threw rocks at the Jerusalem light […]
Nearly 90 percent of Gaza residents support attacks on Israel, say rockets help ‘deterrence’
Mortar fire crossed the border into northern Israel from Syria near Quneitra. Two cars were damaged. Accidental shelling?
NYC lawmaker Laurie Cumbo presses Miami-Dade officials to find Rabbi Joseph Raksin’s murderer.
Former US Middle East envoy Martin Indyk warns Israel’s self-defense in Gaza has increased tensions with Washington – again.
A baby was hurt when Palestinian terrorists stoned the car she was driving in near the Samaria community of Yitzhar this morning. According to reports on the Hebrew-language 0404 website, the driver of the vehicle escaped the scene of the attack and reached a nearby IDF base safely. There, the baby was treated for her […]
The Zara clothing firm fell ‘fashion flat’ with a toddler tee allegedly a “sheriff’s shirt” in Israel – bearing a yellow, 6-pointed star.
The majority of the reactions are against the truce, and all voiced skepticism about its viability.
Released for Publication: The IDF has released the names of the 2 killed by Hamas mortars yesterday…
Simon Wiesenthal Center called on US to denounce the rigged UNHRC Commission on Gaza.
Neither side achieved its stated goal: the Gaza blockade will not be lifted and Hamas will not be disarmed.
Asher Schwartz, the JewishPress.com cartoonist lives 2 blocks away from the house that was hit Tuesday morning by the new Hamas rocket. All the windows in his apartment were blown out from the blast (and his neighbor’s windows too). His ears are ringing. Keep safe Asher.
“The time has come for us to say, that our true war is not aimed at opening the border crossings. Our true war is aimed at the liberation of Jerusalem, Allah willing.”
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: