Qalqilya Building Plan Provokes Anger in Shomron

Qalqilya, Shomron
Shomron regional council chairman Yossi Dagan (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM - Amid an ongoing dispute over the pace of building Jewish housing in Yehudah and Shomron, the government’s announcement of a plan to double the size of the Palestinian city of Qalqilya has angered Jewish leaders in the region.

The plan, announced Wednesday, envisions 14,000 new apartments built on 617 acres in the Israeli-controlled Area C in Shomron that would increase city’s population to 60,000, according to Channel 2.

Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan fumed that the Netanyahu government is “taking the terror city of Qalqilya, which produced so many terror attacks, and giving it a gift.”

The 14,000 units, he observed, “are seven times what all four Jewish councils received in all Yehudah and Shomron.”

The right-wing NGO, Regavim, is reportedly preparing to submit a legal appeal against the decision on behalf of the nearby Israeli community of Tzofim.

The Defense Ministry maintains the plan is not new, and is part of a program of easing restrictions for law-abiding Palestinians, part of a “carrot-and-stick” policy established months ago by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.