In keeping with last week’s Netanyahu cabinet’s decision to promote construction of 6,000 housing units in the settlements in conjunction with 715 housing units for Area C Arabs, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Higher Planning Committee convened on Monday and Tuesday to advance a series of settlement plans. So far, they approved 2,304 housing units for Jews, 838 of which received second and final approval, 1,466 received initial approval. Some of the approved plans merely regulate the status of already existing homes in various settlements.
Plans for regulating three outposts were also approved, while the discussion of another outpost, Brosh, in the Jordan Valley was postponed pending a resolution of an objection from Peace Now. Brosh (established in 2013), in the northern Jordan Valley, is to become an educational institution that will offer housing for hundreds of students as well as staff families.
These outposts were approved for regulation:
Givat Salit, (established in 2002), in the northern Jordan Valley, with a proposed 94 new housing units.
Ibei Hanahal (established in 1999), southeast of Bethlehem, 98 new housing units.
Haroeh Haivri (established in 2015), near the notorious Khan al-Ahmar between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem, also to be regulated as an educational institution with housing for students and staff.
Another postponed plan was for 207 housing units in the Har Brakha (established 1983) near Shechem, which will require an extension of the settlement’s jurisdiction, which is pending.
Two weeks ago, our friends at Peace Now sent out a report showing that more than 30 new outposts have been regulated, along with retroactive legalization of existing outposts, under PM Netanyahu’s rule. According to Peace Now, the legalization of outposts “sends a clear message from the government that it is worthwhile to build settlements illegally, because the government will approve them retroactively.”
Sure, it would have been much nicer to get them started with government support, but, hey, you do what works. Netanyahu should probably use this Peace Now report to boost his campaign in Judea and Samaria.