The Higher Planning Committee Approves 1,122 New Settlement Housing Units

On 10 January 2018, the Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Committee met and approved a total of 1,122 new housing units in 20 settlements and outposts throughout the West Bank. In addition, tenders for 651 units were published this morning (11 January).

For a breakdown of the figures and locales for the approvals, click here.

Breakdown of the Plans
Within this 1,122 figure, 770 units were approved for deposit, while 352 were approved for validation (for details on the various planning stages, click here).

Over half (56.8%) of the housing units approved are to be located beyond the Geneva Initiative proposed borders, which means that Israel will most likely need to evacuate those settlements in a two-state final status agreement.

A statement from Defense Minister Lieberman on 9 January mentioned that the Higher Planning Committee would be promoting 2,490 settlement housing units. His list included the plans that were promoted yesterday, tenders of  which some were published today, and plans that should be published for depositing. Peace Now expects the latter plans to be pushed in the coming days.

Peace Now: “Although the numbers of the units and the different process may be confusing, the bottom line is very clear: The government is attempting to destroy the possibility of a two-state solution and the prospects of peace by building more and more in the settlements. This agenda runs counter to Israel’s national interest, as well as the interests of everyone who seeks a peaceful future in the region.”

Nativ Ha’avot Outpost Update
Included in the plans approved yesterday (10 January) are the “temporary” approval of 7 structures in the Nativ Ha’Avot outpost, which are located partially on private Palestinian Land (Plan No. 404/1/6/6). Following the Palestinian landowners’ petition with Peace Now against the construction of the Nativ Ha’Avot outpost, the High Court of Justice ruled that the state must evacuate 17 buildings that were built fully or partially located on private land by 6 March 2018.

Later, some residents of the outpost asked the Court to allow them to saw off parts of their houses that were built on private land; however, the Court rejected their request. The settlers are now preparing a plan for building permits for the houses to be partially sawed off, so that it will be possible to circumvent the demand of the Court, and that in light of the new plan the Court’s decision will need to change.

Peace Now: “The Higher Planning Committee’s approval of seven structures in Nativ Ha’Avot demonstrates the government’s complicit support for settler attempts to undermine the High Court and to legitimize their land theft.”