Next week, on Tuesday (06.06) and Wednesday (07.06), the High Planning Committee of the Civil Administration will convene in order to advance approximately 2,500 housing units in settlements through the promotion of 27 plans.
Promotion of 102 housing units for the new settlement of Amihai
Retroactive legalization and expansion of the Kerem Reim outposts despite the declared settlement policy
75% of the housing units to be promoted are located in settlements deep in the West Bank and east of the proposed Geneva Initiative border
98% of all housing units are located east of the built barrier and 40% are east of the planned route of the barrier
Among the plans that will be discussed is the plan for Amihai, the first new official settlement since 1992. Amihai, approved by the government on March 30th as “compensation” to the 41 settler families evacuated from the illegal outpost Amona will be 2.5 times larger than the evacuated outpost and will consist of 102 housing units. The jurisdiction of the settlement was recently approved by the head of the Central Command, as reported by Peace Now.
The committee will also discuss a plan for 255 housing units that will expand and retroactively legalise Kerem Reim, an illegal outpost established in 2012. The approval of a plan for Kerem Reim is as result of a recent petition by Peace Now, demanding the evacuation of the outpost, as well as the demand to open a criminal investigation against those who are behind the establishment of the outpost.
In addition, a plan for 20 housing units at Beit El settlement and that is linked to the new US ambassador to Israel will be discussed for validation (final approval).
The 2,500 housing units to be advanced are mostly located in settlements that are deep in the West Bank: 75% of the housing units will be east of the proposed Geneva Initiative border. In fact, of the 27 plans to be discussed only 1 is for a settlement (Ma’ale Adumim) that is within the Geneva Initiative suggested border. Similarly, almost 40% (38%) of the housing units advanced are east of the separation barrier planned route, while only 2% of the plans are located west of the built barrier. The majority of the housing units to be advanced (60%) are located within the route of the barrier, but in areas where the barrier is not built, and yet the planned route of the barrier cannot be referenced as a possible future border as it includes areas deep in the West Bank that are unlikely to be a part of Israel in any negotiated agreement.
The promotion of thousands of housing units in the settlements side-by-side to the approval of goodwill gestures to the Palestinians illustrates that the Israeli government has no good will or intention to arrive at a negotiated two state solution. The promotion of a new settlement, as well as the retroactive legalization of an illegal outpost, stand in utter contradiction to Israel’s newly declared settlement policy and create major obstacles to any future agreement.