Israel Planning Three New Settlements in Jordan Valley

Housing Ministry and JNF announce new plan, which also includes expanding existing settlements with 14 new neighborhoods

Israeli settlers start to build a new illegal outpost in the Jordan Valley, October 25, 2016.
JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP

The Israeli government wants to erect three new settlements in the Jordan Valley, housing about 10,000 people, and to expand existing settlements with 14 new neighborhoods.

At this stage, neither permits for construction nor budgets have been arranged.

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On Tuesday the Housing Ministry and Jewish National Fund released the plan for the development of the Jordan Valley, including the establishment of new settlement that would increase the number of Israelis living subject to the West Bank regional council by about 10,000.

There are 20 Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley, with a total of 4,500 residents. The government wants to triple that figure. The new settlements are slated for Givat Sal'it, Bitronot, and Given Eden.

Earlier this year a settlement called Amihi was approved, to house people evicted from the illegal outpost of Amona. Amihai was the first new settlement to be approved in the Jordan Valley in years.

In fact, despite Israeli statements about new building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem involving 3,000 housing units, only 50 construction tenders were closed in 2017. Not one of these was in East Jerusalem, according to the UN envoy to the Middle East, Nikolay Mladenov.