Israel Approves Construction of Hundreds of New Settlement Homes in West Bank

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Housing construction in the settlement of Ariel
A file photo of housing construction in the West Bank settlement of ArielCredit: Emil Salman

The Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank gave the go-ahead on Wednesday to build hundreds of homes in Jewish settlements throughout the West Bank.

The plans that were approved involve the construction of more than 200 homes in Oranit and more than 50 in Petzael in the Jordan Valley in addition to construction in Ariel, Alfei Menashe and in other West Bank settlements. The state is now expected to invite bids for the construction of the homes, although construction would only begin once the bidding process is concluded. Planning authorities also decided to advance construction plans for hundreds of additional housing units in West Bank settlements including Kfar Adumim and Givat Ze'ev.

Last year the Civil Administration approved construction of some 3,000 homes in West Bank settlements, but that was followed by only a few dozen housing starts because the bids for the rest of the homes were held up.

Earlier this week, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued a statement saying that construction of about 1,200 homes and plans to build another 2,500 housing units would be approved on Wednesday, but the figures included hundreds of homes approval for which had already been announced or that have nothing to do with the planning authorities current decision.

Following the shooting attack near the West Bank outpost of Havat Gilad on Tuesday in which Raziel Shevach, a resident of the outpost, was killed, Lieberman and Habayit Hayehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett called for the unauthorized outpost to be legalized and for construction to be carried out there as well.

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