Jerusalem (MEMO) – Israeli authorities are expected to advance plans as soon as next week for up to 2,000 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank.
According to a report in Haaretz on Monday, citing an unnamed senior government official, most of the homes in question will be advancing to another stage in the planning process.
However, some plans will be ready for immediate construction, reportedly including some 300 homes in Beit El, “which the government promised to settler leaders more than five years ago, following the demolition of illegally built homes in the settlement’s Ulpana neighbourhood”.
The official said that “over the next two days, final talks will be held to decide whether to add or remove certain construction plans from the committee’s agenda”.
Haaretz notes that, “due to understandings the government reached with the Trump administration on restraining settlement construction”, the planning committee responsible for settlement construction meets “only once every three months”, with its last meeting held in early June.
In addition, the senior official claimed, ministers were told at Sunday’s security cabinet meeting that “the planning committee’s meeting has been postponed several times at the White House’s request”. These postponements were “to make sure the committee’s meeting didn’t clash with the UN General Assembly or the various diplomatic meetings that surrounded it”.
Haaretz reports that the committee’s agenda is slated to be published tomorrow, “so the committee can meet next Tuesday, before Sukkot begins”. Failing that, “the committee will meet the following week, immediately after the seven-day Sukkot holiday ends”.
During the security cabinet meeting, ministers were told that the proposed plan for constructing Palestinian homes in Qalqilya “remains frozen for the time being”.
This post was originally written for and published by Middle East Monitor.