The Minister of Defense Approves 538 New Units in Itamar

The Higher Planning Committee of the Civil Administration will discuss tomorrow, 14.11.12 several plans for at least 772 units in isolated settlements. Those plans include a plan to retroactively legalize 137 units that were built illegally in the Settlement of Itamar, and to add another 538 new units to the settlements (total of 685 units). The plan thus expands the settlement by almost five times larger than it currently is.

Peace Now: “The Netanyahu government is putting all its efforts in harming the two state solution, this time by extensively expanding isolated settlements deep in the West Bank. While Netanyahu criticizes the Palestinians UN bid as a unilateral action, the government of Israel acts unilaterally by creating facts-on- the-ground that are devastating to the two state solution.”

Shortly after authorizing the deposit of the plan for the settlement of Itamar, it will be deposited for public view. Then, the public will be given 60 days to submit its objections.  Afterwards the planning committee will convene to discuss any objections and may approve the plan. After the plan is approved, construction permit may be issued. However, according to the Ministry of Defense, any permit for new construction in Itamar, adding to the existing houses, will need additional authorization by the Minister of Defense.

In addition to the expansion of Itamar, the Planning Committee is expected to authorize a plan for 200 units in the settlement of Rotem, in the Jordan Valley. The plan will legalize 30 units in Rotem that were already built and allow the construction of another 170 new units plus 84 additional units for guest rooms.

The Planning Committee is also expected to authorize additional 24 housing units in the settlement of Tkoa and 40 housing units in the settlement of Beit Arieh. Likewise the committee is expected to authorize a plan for the settlement of Ma’on for 230 housing units (some of which are already built).