Plan for 839 Ariel Housing Units Approved by Civil Administration

Civil Administration in West Bank also approves 300 housing units in Beit El.

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The Civil Administration in the West Bank has approved a plan for the construction of 839 new housing units in a new, southern neighborhood of Ariel, the largest settlement in the West Bank. The plan was proposed by the Housing and Construction Ministry.

Wednesday's approval was the first in several months by the administration, which has reduced its planning activities in light of the ongoing diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinians.

The decision means that the plan will now be published for public comment. If approved, it will represent a significant expansion of Ariel's housing. Stand-alone housing will account for 170 of the proposed units, while the rest will be apartment buildings.

The plan, which has been snarled in bureaucracy for the past decade, is a pet project of Housing Minister Uri Ariel. The minister promised to bring it to fruition during a meeting with residents in Ariel earlier this month.

Also approved by the Civil Administration was a plan for 300 housing units in Beit El, compensating the settlement for the court-ordered destruction of housing in the settlement's Ulpana neighborhood about 18 months ago. All that remains now is for the Border Police to vacate a base on the land to be developed.

Another plan approved was for 32 housing units in Almog settlement.

The Ariel construction announcement comes a day after plans for 184 unit in Har Homa in East Jerusalem (pictured). Credit: AFP

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