Plan for Granting Palestinian Building Permits in Area C Under Consideration

YERUSHALAYIM -
Hananel Dorani, Chairman of the Yesha Council, in June, 2018. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has proposed a plan to grant building permits to Palestinians in Israeli-controlled Area C of Yehudah and Shomron, alongside similar approvals for Jewish communities, the Kan public broadcaster reported on Monday.

The plan, described as having unspecified “political implications,” was brought by Netanyahu before the high-level security cabinet, which discussed it on Sunday and Monday without reaching any conclusions.

Palestinians are rarely granted building permits in Area C, as compared to thousands approved for Israelis in recent years.

To add to the mystery, it was not known why Netanyahu, who is also defense minister, has sought cabinet approval, given that he wields the authority to grant the permits on his own (after it passes through a bureaucratic body within the Defense Ministry).

A spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office did not return a request for comment.

Responding to the Kan report, Yesha council chairman Hananel Dorani said that “instead of fighting against the Palestinian Authority’s takeover of Area C and destroying the illegal construction that is rampant there, the prime minister is raising the possibility of surrendering to the phenomenon and approving the illegal construction, and perhaps even approving further construction. We fully oppose this and call on the ministers of the security cabinet to oppose this proposal.”

The security cabinet discussions regarding Area C come just days before a U.S. delegation led by senior White House adviser Jared Kushner is expected to arrive in Israel, to promote the Trump administration’s peace plan.

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