The West Bank settlement of Efrat
The West Bank settlement of Efrat
Photo: Reuters
The West Bank settlement of Efrat

Israel seems set to resume West Bank settlement construction

Building work would mark first advancement of settlement activity since Israel signed treaties with UAE and Bahrain in September; PM pledged last week to reconvene the body responsible for issue as de facto freeze seems over

Elisha Ben Kimon |
Published: 10.05.20 , 13:44
Construction looks set to resume in West Bank settlements after the Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria, which oversees such building, on Monday set a date for resumption of its activities.
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  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged last week to reconvene the council, which last met in February.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    The West Bank settlement of Efrat
    The West Bank settlement of Efrat
    The West Bank settlement of Efrat
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The council is expected to advance the construction of 4,000-5,000 housing units across the West Bank, which are in various stages of development. Hundreds of homes are also expected to receive final approval.
    Netanyahu's decision to reconvene the council came after weeks of pressure from settler groups, including the heads of the Yesha Council, who claimed that the prime minister had instituted a de facto settlement freeze.
    In recent days, representatives of the settlers met with various government officials and demanded that approval be granted for the housing units, especially in light of the halt to plans to annex parts of the West Bank.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    רה"מ בנימין נתניהו מתייחס להחלטה האמריקנית בנושא ההתנחלויות
    רה"מ בנימין נתניהו מתייחס להחלטה האמריקנית בנושא ההתנחלויות
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with settler leaders in the West Bank late last year
    (Photo: Noam Moskowitz)
    The new construction would mark the first advancement of settlement activity since Israel signed normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain last month.
    Officials from both Gulf states have stated that the normalization deals were based on an Israeli agreement to suspend its plans to annex portions of the West Bank.
    Despite Israeli denials to the contrary, Bahraini and Emirati officials maintain that a complete halt of Israel's plan to claim sovereignty over parts of the West Bank was critical to the deal.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the area where a new neighborhood is to be built in the East Jerusalem settlement of Har Homa
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the area where a new neighborhood is to be built in the East Jerusalem settlement of Har Homa
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the area of East Jerusalem where a new neighborhood was planned for the settlement of Har Homa
    (Photo: AP)
    Under the peace plan unveiled by the Trump administration in January, Israel can eventually apply sovereignty to all its settlements in the West Bank, although American officials suggest that such a step would be far off.

    i24NEWS contributed to this report
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