A massive building plan for 279,000 new housing units, including 48,000 over the Green Line, is in the pipeline at the Ministry of Housing, according to a report on Wednesday.
The plan came to light during discussions between Housing and Finance Ministry officials concerning a request for large budgetary supplements, said senior Israeli journalist Nahum Barnea.
Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) is behind the proposed step-up in construction in Yehudah and Shomron, as well as some 15,000 new units in east Yerushalayim.
According to the report, Ariel, who is also chairman of the Israel Land Authority, has blocked final approval for the transfer of IDF bases in the central region to the Negev pending Finance Ministry approval of his expanded housing budget. He is expected to gain that approval by next Tuesday, when the officials meet again.
Housing Ministry officials deny any connection between the delay in moving the IDF bases and the ministry’s financial requests, maintaining that the two issues are unrelated and based on technical issues only.
One-sixth of the housing units planned for the coming years are over the Green Line, with a large number of units slated for construction in remote communities such as Ma’alei Amos (6,000 housing units), Bat Ayin (6,000) and Nahliel (3,500), and one as-yet on the drawing boards —Gva’ot (1,060).