20 Housing Units in Beit El: A Gift to The US Ambassador-Designate?

On Sunday plan #219/17 for a five-story building (and another two underground floors) and about 20 housing units in Beit El has been deposited. This plan was mentioned as one of the plans to be promoted in the Defense Minister’s announcement from January 25th.

The Plan:

This plan is being promoted after in 2014 the NGO “Sukkat Ovadia Learning Center, Beit El B” (Sukkat Ovadia) illegally began construction in the area, including on private Palestinian land. The plan instructs to demolish the part of the building that is on private land, retroactively legalizes the remainder of the structure, and allows for additional floors.

For more details about the plan see here and here (in yellow is the part meant to be demolished).

The Developer – An NGO Connected to Ambassador-Designate David Friedman:

The developer of the plan is Sukkat Ovadia Learning Center, Beit El B. Sukkat Ovadia is the fundraising body for the Beit El Yeshiva (headed by Rabbi Zalman Melamed), which associated with the Tkuma party and Arutz 7, and its friends organization in the United States, American Friends of Beit El, is headed by Ambassador-Designate David Friedman. According to the Sukkat Ovadia financial report, American Friends of Beit El transferred 2.47 million shekels to Sukkat Ovadia during 2015.

Sukkat Ovadia also stood behind the construction of the Ulpana neighborhood on private Palestinian lands (part of which was demolition based on a High Court verdict). Interestingly, the plan, which aims to fix the issue of construction on private lands, was prepared by Sukkat Ovadia after the NGO had to “absorb” the evacuation of 30 apartments it had built in Givat HaUlpana.

After Sukkat Ovadia had built illegally on private lands and caused trouble to the government in the shape of an expansive evacuation at Givat HaUlpana, and after it repeated this in the case in point, this week instead of investigating the illegal activity, the government rewarded them by promoting a their plan.