Plans for 4,909 housing units in the settlements were promoted since the beginning of 2017, 3,178 of which during the past three days. This number is 85% more than the housing units promoted during all of 2016 and in half the time. For comparison, in all of 2016, 2,657 housing units were advanced in the settlements. Looking at the promotion of housing units through plans and tenders, the number of housing units advanced this year is almost triple (286%) the number of units advanced through plans and tenders in all of 2016. (7,721 in 2017, 2,699 in 2016).
Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of the settlements, proves yet again, that a two state solution is not on his agenda. By promoting the establishment of the first new settlement in 25 years, as well as thousands of additional settlement units, Netanyahu’s actions speak louder than his empty words on peace. On the week marking 50 years of Israeli occupation, rather than working towards conflict resolution, the Israeli government chooses to expand settlements in order to prevent a future two state solution.
During the last three days, plans for 3,178 housing units in the settlements were promoted by the Civil Administration. On June 6th and June 7th the Civil Administration’s planning committee discussed and approved 2,465 housing units either for depositing or for validation (see the details and significance here). Today, June 8th, the Civil Administration published for depositing 689 units and another 24 units for validation. It is important to note that each of these stages require a signature of the Minister of Defense thus is not a bureaucratic step but rather a political step. For more information on the different stages of the planning process please click here.
Out of the 3,178 plans promoted this week 60% (1,911 units) are in settlements that Israel is likely to evict within the framework of a two states solution, according to the proposed model agreement of the Geneva Initiative. This means that shall these plans be implemented, the number of settlers to be evacuated as a part of a future agreement will increase by 8,000-10,000.
The units advanced include the new settlement of Amihai, as well as the retroactive legalization of the Kerem Reim outpost, despite the new Israeli settlement policy. For additional details click here.
Furthermore, it was reported in the media that the High Planning Committee approved the beginning of infrastructure work (groundwork for roads, sewage water etc.) for the settlement of Amihai. This is an unusual step, utilizing section 34a of the planning and construction law which allows for this type of infrastructure work to begin prior to the final approval of the plan. According to reports, this step is a result of heavy pressure on the government by the settler lobby, and apparently this step was approved by the Deputy Attorney General Eretz Kaminitz. Peace Now and its legal advisors view this as misinterpretation of the law, since as long as a plan has not been published for depositing and the deadline for objections has not passed, it is prohibited to allow any work on the ground which might negate potential objections. In the coming days, the protocols of the committee and the decision on the construction permit will be published, something which will allow us to look further into this issue