Barak to Approve Development Plans for 4 West Bank Settlements

Plans would enable legal construction in these settlements; approval joins 2 plans the Defense Minister has already indicated he is inclined to sign off on.

Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson
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Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

Defense Minister Ehud Barak is set to sign off on four settlement development plans, Haaretz learned on Sunday, joining two plans Barak had earlier decided to approve.

The plans are for the settlements of Rotem, Eshkolot-Sansana, Halamish-Neve Tzuf, Nofim, and Kiryat Netafim.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak talking to IDF Col. Nimrod Aloni near the West Bank city of Nablus, Jan. 18, 2011. Credit: AP

All of the above settlements were founded following a government decision, and all of their lands are converted state lands.

The plans set to be signed will in fact perpetuate the status quo in these settlements, disallowing any new legal construction, making the planned signing more of a symbolic achievement.

It should be noted, that any construction is deemed illegal in the absence of development plans such as these, a regulation which the state has been more stringent in upholding in recent years.

Barak has yet to decide concerning far more sensitive plans, such as those for the settlements of Eli, Ofra, and Itamar. The likelihood that the plan for Ofra will be approved seems slim at the moment

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