The agenda for the Supreme Planning Council meeting that was published Sunday morning includes a construction boom in the settlement of Judea and Samaria on a scale of 4,560 units in many different settlements. The published plans are added to the nearly 10,000 units that were published following the previous meeting of the council, making the first half year of the new Netanyahu government the greatest over the past decade in terms of construction volumes in the settlement.
Among the published plans there’s the construction of hundreds of units in Neve Tsuf and Eli, hundreds of units in Givat Ze’ev and Beitar Elit, 340 units in Ma’ale Adumim, 381 in Revava, 343 in Elkana, 287 in Adora, and 196 in Telem.
According to Haaretz, the government is expected to approve on Sunday a decision to shorten the process of obtaining construction permits in the settlements and transfer the approval authority to the adjunct minister in the defense ministry, Bezalel Smotrich. This is a change in the mechanism that has been in place for the past 27 years, which allowed prime ministers and defense ministers to intervene in the workings of the supreme planning council to slow down or freeze construction in the liberated territories for political reasons, including in response to pressure from abroad.
The plans will also remove the need to bring road-building plans to a separate cabinet debate and vote.
Peace Now responded to the decision, stating that “the most extreme and dangerous government in the country’s history is handing fuel to a pyromaniac, and entrusts the political and security interests in the hands of those who wish to wipe out a village, representing a small, messianic, and dangerous minority.”
Having been yearning for the arrival of Moshiach Ben David for many years now, I say, more power to our small, messianic, and dangerous minority of 64 out of 120 in the Knesset…
Minister Smotrich said:
“The construction boom in Judea and Samaria and all over our country continues. As we promised, today we are advancing the construction of thousands more new units in Judea and Samaria, where residents cease to be second-class citizens, and the natural development in the settlements is expressed in construction and expansion.
“I thank Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for their cooperation. I would also like to thank the staff of the Settlement Administration at the Ministry of Defense and the Planning Council for their hard and precise work. We will continue to develop the settlement enterprise and strengthen the Israeli grip on the territories.”
Mayor of the Gush Etzion Regional Council and Chairman of the Yesha Council, Shlomo Ne’eman, responded to the publicized agenda of the Supreme Planning Council and the passing of an amendment to resolution 150 at the cabinet meeting:
“The people have chosen to continue building in Judea and Samaria, and the Jordan Valley, and that is the way it should be. After the previous government froze the building of thousands of housing units, there is an essential need to restore the succession of work, as was done over the past decade.
We welcome the publication of the agenda, which includes the approval of hundreds of important housing units in Gush Etzion, Binyamin, Samaria, Elkana, Givat Ze’ev, and the cities of Ariel, Ma’ale Adumim, and Beitar Illit, which have waited and have required building approval for a long time already.
Likewise, the amendment of resolution 150 allows for the planning and building process to make headway in a professional manner, as appropriate and customary for every other part of Israel.
We thank Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Minister of National Missions Orit Strook, and government ministers in the Ministry of National Missions, the Ministry of Defense, and the Planning Administration, for making headway with this matter and beginning to correct historical injustices, and strengthening the authority of the region.
The Yesha Council will continue to work with the ministers and planning entities in order to continue the construction work in Judea and Samaria.”