update deskIsrael at War

Israel approves 3,500 new homes in Judea

Yesha head Shlomo Ne'eman: Move "the most appropriate Zionist response."

The Givat Tkuma neighborhood near the Israeli community of Yitzhar in Samaria, Jan. 27, 2020. Photo by Sraya Diamant/Flash90.
The Givat Tkuma neighborhood near the Israeli community of Yitzhar in Samaria, Jan. 27, 2020. Photo by Sraya Diamant/Flash90.

Israel has approved the construction of 3,500 new housing units in Ma’ale Adumim, Efrat and Kedar in Judea. The Higher Planning Council of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria announced the decision on Wednesday.

The decision comes exactly one year after Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich received authority over civilian matters in Judea and Samaria, Israel Hayom noted.

“We continue to build the country! 18,515 permits this year in Judea and Samaria. Along with the construction permits, we are making a huge investment in the development of transportation infrastructure, employment and quality of life,” tweeted Smotrich.

“The enemies try to hurt and weaken us, but we will continue to build and be built in this country,” he added.

Shlomo Ne’eman, head of the Yesha Council and outgoing chairman of the Gush Etzion Regional Council in Judea, said in response to the decision that, “After many months that the committee was not convened and especially in these difficult days, the continuation of construction in Judea and Samaria was the most appropriate Zionist response.”

He thanked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Smotrich and others for “correcting historical injustices and strengthening sovereignty in the region,” and called for additional homes to be approved.

Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi said, “The approval of about 700 housing units in Efrat brings us closer to realizing the goal of being a city. … In the last decade, the council [population] has grown by about 65% and at the end of the construction process will reach about 20,000 residents.”

The last time the Higher Planning Council met was in June 2023, when it approved 5,700 homes in Judea and Samaria. The United States criticized the decision, calling it an “impediment to a negotiated two-state solution.”

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