Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, February 25, 2024.

Four Israeli towns in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley have received their permanent “Yishuv” symbols, the office of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich announced Saturday night.

The communities of Mishmar Yehuda, Shacharit, Beit Hogla and Asael received their permanent settlement symbols, according to Smotrich, who is chairman of the Religious Zionism party and who serves as a minister in the Defense Ministry as well.


A Yishuv symbol is the final stamp on a new community in Israel that is accepted by the Ministry of the Interior. The symbol is approved as part of the settlement process.

Mishmar Yehuda was developed from the Mitzpe Yehuda outpost, also known as Kedar Tzon Farm, south of Ma’ale Adumim in the Judean Desert. Mishmar Yehuda will be included in the Gush Etzion Regional Council.

Shacharit is a community in western Samaria, west of Bruchin and northeast of Alei Zahav.

Beit Hogla is located north of the Dead Sea on Rout 90, near the Beit Arava junction. It is strategically located in the Jordan Valley, near Jericho.

Asael is a Torah community in the Yatir region of Mount Hebron, and belongs to the Mount Hebron Regional Council. The community overlooks the northern border of the Yatir Forest; it was established as an outpost in 2001 and recognized in 2023.

“Another step and another step in the regulation of the young settlement that we promised to promote,” Smotrich said in a statement.

“Thanks to the Ministry of the Interior for the cooperation. Doing Zionism!”

This past February, municipal boundaries were approved for the communities by Major General Yehuda Fox, commander of the IDF’s Central Command. The move is a step in the implementation of a February 2023 government decision to legalize nine existing towns previously considered illegal.

Yesha Council Chairman, Shlomo Ne’eman stated the “Sheheyanu prayer” in response to the announcement of granting “permanent status” approval to the communities of Mishmar Yehuda, Shacharit, Beit Hogla and Asahel:

“We thank Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Ministry Minister Bezalel Smotrich, Defense Minister Gallant, Interior Minister Moshe Arbel, Judea and Samaria Minister Orit Strook, and the professional bodies for awarding permanent status to the communities of Mishmar Yehuda, Shacharit, Beit Hogla and Asahel.”

He added “This is a necessary stamp of approval that symbolizes the end of the process that began over a year ago. Especially in these difficult days, when we are at war for our homeland, strengthening Judea and Samaria is a necessary Zionist and national undertaking for the Jewish people. We will continue to work with all parties so that more of the “young communities” receive the recognition they deserve.”


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.