Israel to Approve Over 1,400 Housing Units in West Bank Settlements

In addition, the Civil Administration is expected to advance approval for some 3,500 more housing units in Jewish settlements

Yotam Berger
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File Photo: A new housing project is seen in the West Bank settlement of Modiin Ilit, January 1, 2019.
File Photo: A new housing project is seen in the West Bank settlement of Modiin Ilit, January 1, 2019. Credit: Ariel Schalit / AP
Yotam Berger

The Civil Administration is expected to discuss and give final approval for the construction of over 1,400 housing units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank this week. A sub-committee of the agency is also expected to move ahead approval of planning for almost 3,500 more housing units in the territories.

The committee issuing the final approval, which is to meet toward the end of the week, is expected to green-light 108 units in the settlement of Etz Efraim and 325 units in Alon, a distant neighborhood of the settlement of Kfar Adumim, which is near the disputed Palestinian village of Khan al-Ahmar.

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The rest of the units are in major settlements, among them Givat Ze’ev, Ma’ale Adumim and Betar Ilit. All in all, 1,427 units are to be approved. This is the final phase as far as the government is concerned, after which tenders may be issued to begin construction.

The Civil Administration is also set to approve plans for construction in the settlements of Peduel, Elon Moreh, Karnei Shomron, Elkana, Ariel, Oranit, Beit Arieh, Shiloh, Talmon and Mitzpeh Yeriho. This stage of approval is only for the public to view and register objections, with another 3,474 units to be approved for deposit.The approval of 4,901 housing units in the territories will be discussed at the meeting overall.

In December, the Civil Administration approved some 1,500 housing units at a similar meeting, and the sub-committee approved 1,451 units, among other places at Givat Ze’ev, Neve Daniel, Karmei Tzur, Avnei Hefetz, Ma’ale Mikhmash, Tzofim, Alfei Menashe, Tomer, Adora, Meitzad and one unit in Shiloh.

In December, special UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process Nicolay Mladenov released figures stating that the months preceding December 2018 had seen the lowest quarterly growth in Israeli housing construction in the settlement since Resolution 2334 was passed to monitor such construction more than two years ago. According to the figures, Israel moved ahead on construction of 2,200 housing units in the West Bank during that period, most of which were in East Jerusalem. However, these figures do not take into consideration extensive retroactive approval of illegal housing according to Israeli law.