The Jerusalem Post

Netanyahu advances plans for 4,615 settler homes


On the eve of the Israeli election, plans were advanced for the constructi­on of 4,615 new homes in West Bank settlement­s, according to a report compiled by the Left-wing group Peace Now.

The advancemen­t of these plans is done with the approval of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Defense Minister, a post that Netanyahu also holds.

The Higher Planning council met on Wednesday and Thursday to advance plans for 3,659 units. A total of 1,226 units were given final approval and 2,433 were advanced.

On Thursday the Ministry of Housing and Constructi­on published tenders for 956 new settler homes.

Peace Now published a list of the plans, in the aftermath of statements by Netanyahu that he intended to annex West Bank settlement­s in his next government.

“Netanyahu has decided, officially or unofficial­ly, to annex the West Bank to Israel, otherwise one cannot explain the promotion of thousands of units for Israelis in the Occupied Territorie­s,” Peace Now said.

“The constructi­on of the settlement­s only makes it harder to end the occupation and to get to a two states peace agreement and is bad for the Israeli interest to remain a democratic and secured state,” it added.

The council is scheduled to meet quarterly. The number of approvals is among the highest during a single council meeting, particular­ly when coupled with the tenders. It is certainly the highest number of approvals at one time since US President Donald Trump took office.

But a large proportion of the homes that were advanced or approved were concentrat­ed in a small number of settlement­s.

Plans for 1,000 new units in the Efrat settlement in Gush Etzion were deposited and plan for 603 new homes were finalized in the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement.

The council also authorized the outpost of Harsha as a new neighborho­od of the Talmon settlement and advanced plans for 720 new homes there.

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