Photo Credit: Sraya Diamant/TPS
Construction project at Neve Menachem neighborhood in Karnei Shomron in Samaria. June 16, 2019.

The government announced on Sunday the marketing tenders for 1,355 housing units in Judea and Samaria through the Israel Land Authority and under the direction of Minister of Construction and Housing Zeev Elkin.

The tenders include 729 units in the city of Ariel in Samaria, 346 units in Beit El to be built on the grounds of an old IDF base, 102 units in Elkana, 96 in Geva Binyamin, 57 in Emanuel, 22 in Karnei Shomron, and one in Beitar Illit, totaling at 1,355 housing units.

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The units in Beit El will be built on the grounds of an old IDF base. They (and most if not all of the other tenders) were approved by the previous government, and after overcoming various obstacles, the tender was announced today.

The tenders on an initial declaration of intent and require many more bureaucratic approvals.

Elkin stated that “strengthening and expanding Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is a necessary and very important thing in the vision of the Zionist enterprise.”

“After a long period of stagnation in construction in Judea and Samaria, I welcome the marketing of over 1,000 housing units. I will continue to maintain Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria,” he declared.

However, left-wing members of the coalition were unhappy with the announcement.

Member of Knesset Mossi Raz of Meretz tweeted that “Elkin announced the marketing of more than 1,300 housing units in settlements in the Occupied Territories. The right-wing government does not count Meretz – 10 degrees to the right of the previous government, construction in settlements outside Israel is harming Israel.”

Simultaneously, the government is slated to approve some 30 construction plans in Judea and Samaria with 3,144 units for Israelis and six plans with 1,303 units for Arabs.

The Higher Planning Council of the Civil Administration (HPC) will convene on Wednesday the units for Israelis and on Monday to approve the units for Arabs in Area C, under full Israeli control.

This move was opposed by Meretz and other left-wing factions in the government as well.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.