The Ministry of Housing Plans Exposed

Summary and Main Findings:

In November 2013, following international pressure, Prime Minister Netanyahu cancelled three tenders issued by the Ministry of Housing (MOH) calling for architects to bid for contracts to plan tens of thousands of housing units in settlements, including in E1. One year later, far from the public eye (without any public tender), the MOH hired architects to plan many of those plans. This planning, which contradicts any possible commitment to a two-state solution, continues through the present day.

In July 2013 Peace Now contacted the MOH, asking that it disclose its list of projects in the settlements since 2012, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. Only after Peace Now petitioned to the court, requesting that it compel the MOH to disclose the information, did the MOH revealed partial information: 200 pages with tables containing over 1,000 lines of data. This data, together with other sources, reveal that the MOH is working on projects in settlement valued at over 330 million NIS.

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The main elements of this planning are as follows:

The MOH is working on plans for 55,548 units in West Bank settlements, in different phases of planning:

 About half of this planning is for construction east of the Separation Barrier.

♦ The plans include more than 8,372 units in the E1 area.

♦ The plans include two brand-new settlements: Givat Eitam (aka, E2, or A-Nahla, located south of Bethlehem), and Bitronot/Brosh, in the northern Jordan Valley.

♦ The plans include the post-facto legalization/approval of at least six illegal outposts

♦ The plans include construction to transform a number of small settlements into bigger towns.

In addition, the MOH is working today on plans for immediate implementation of construction of 3,786 units, 64% of them east of the Separation Barrier.

In addition, the MOH is already funding infrastructure work for the construction of 4,054 units, 70% of them east of the Separation Barrier.

In addition, it appears the MOH has funded a number of illegal projects in settlements.

In addition, the MOH gave at least 1.8 million NIS to local authorities in settlements for campaigns encouraging Israelis to move to settlements.

In addition, the MOH funded the expansion of the Beit Romano settlement in the heart of Hebron (1 million NIS), and gave another 350,000 NIS for the renovation of the settlers’ “Beitar Club” in Hebron.

In addition, the Ministry of Housing of Housing is planning for settlement expansion in East Jerusalem:

♦ The MOH is planning a new neighborhood in Atarot (10,000 units) between Beit Hanina and Ramalla

♦ The MOH is planning for the expansion of Har Homa to the west (2,000 units).

♦ The MOH is planning for 21 units in the heart of the Muslim Quarter, near Herod’s Gate.

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