Following the resurrection of the Homesh Yeshiva, there are plans for approving thousands of new housing units in Judea, Reshet Bet Radio reported Wednesday morning.
The report cited senior coalition officials who said an announcement is expected in the coming week regarding another meeting of the Supreme Planning Council (SPC) to approve thousands of new homes for marketing and construction in several localities. The move follows the coalition agreements requiring such approvals to be issued once every quarter.
The same senior coalition officials said the United States had been informed in advance of the move so as not to surprise the Biden administration and not to be accused once more of constructing homes behind the president’s back.
Back in March 2010, Israel’s Interior Ministry announced plans for 1,600 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem while then-Vice President Joe Biden was on a state visit to Israel. Biden issued a sharp condemnation, accusing Israel of undermining US trust and harming reconciliation talks with the PA.
This time around, although the administration has been alerted, it is still expected to condemn the decision, but at least the sharp rebuke will be coordinated in advance.
Also, the coalition parties behind the move (I’m talking to you, Bezalel Smotrich) were asked not to celebrate the move publicly or show excessive glee at the decision, but to be humble as much as possible to keep public attention to a minimum.
I kid you not.
Meanwhile, speaking of Smotrich, next week, the Civil Administration which now is under his jurisdiction, will discuss the objections to a construction plan in area E1 beyond the green line, near Maale Adumim. The plan came under international criticism because construction in this area is expected to cut off the northern part of the PA from the southern part, making it near-impossible to establish a contiguous Palestinian state in the future.
According to Haaretz, this discussion will be the third one dealing with objections to the plan, after which it will be moved to the final stage of planning approval by the Civil Administration.
But don’t look too happy, people are watching.
E1 is an area of 12 square kilometers that is currently part of Maale Adumim and extends north and west of this municipality. Plans for construction in the area have existed since the Rabin government, but their implementation has been delayed since 2005 under international pressure.
In 2013, a discussion was held in the Planning Council of the Civil Administration to promote the plans for construction in the area at the initiative of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and they were approved. Britain and France threatened to recall their ambassadors from Israel, then came the elections, and the plans have been frozen ever since.
Construction in E1 would probably involve, at last, the removal of Khan al-Ahmar, the fake Bedouin settlement the Palestinian Authority planted there to prevent the urban crawl between Maale Adumim and Jerusalem that would once and for all quash the plans of a Palestinian State.