The government on Sunday authorized a plan to build 31 new housing units in Chevron. The plan had been proposed by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who called the plan “another milestone in the active efforts that we are leading to strengthen Jewish settlement in Yehudah and Shomron.” The project will cost the government NIS 21.6 million, the Defense Ministry said. According to Globes, the project will be funded by “contributions” from the budgets of other government ministries.
The houses will be built on land that is currently being used for an IDF base, and will include kindergartens, schools, and park areas. The new neighborhood will be called the Chizkiyahu Quarter. In a statement, the Jewish Community of Chevron praised the plan, saying that “construction in the city of our fathers is a just and blessed step. We thank the Prime Minister and the government and Knesset members who worked to approve this plan, with determination and self-sacrifice.” While the plan was approved, the Jewish Community asked those who worked for it “to ensure that the construction goes forward with no delays.”
The new units are part of a plan that was approved by the government a month and a half ago that authorized construction of 984 new units in Yehudah and Shomron. Besides Chevron, new homes will be built in Barkan, Nofim and Tzofim; all in Shomron. 384 of the units have been given final approval by all relevant committees for construction.
Leftist MKs and groups were opposed to the project. Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg said that “instead of building them new houses, the government should evacuate the settlement in Chevron. It is not clear what thoughts go through the heads of a pyromaniacal government that seeks to expand the most radical and destructive settlement in Israel. The government is buying NIS 21 million worth of fuel to start new fires.” Peace Now responded by saying that the government “is wasting millions to build a settlement in Chevron, a very strange action, in order to satisfy the demands of a small, radical minority. Israelis are opposed to this, but clearly this is a priority for this government – ensuring political ‘peace’ by caving in to the demands of settlers.”