Shaked: Status Quo on Construction in Yehudah and Shomron to Remain in Place

YERUSHALAYIM -
Palestinians protest in the Arab village of Beita as it seen from the outpost of Evyatar, on Friday. (Sraya Diamant/Flash90)

The status quo on construction in Yehudah and Shomron will remain in place, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked revealed in a meeting with members of the Yesha Council last week. Shaked said an agreement on maintaining the status quo in place under the previous government was reached in coalition talks between Yamina and Defense Minister Benny Gantz so that the Civil Administration’s Higher Zoning Committee will meet every three months to approve new construction, council members who attended the meeting told Israel Hayom.

According to a Yesha Council statement following the meeting, council Chairman David Alhayani told Shaked: “I trust you and really hope this will be a good government for the settlement movement. I wish you and all your ministry staff success.” He said councilmembers “see you as a very good address in the government for all the issues related to our local authorities and residents. I hope that the subject of construction permits will be quickly resolved for the future of the region.”

According to the Yesha Council statement, issues relating to the development and promotion of Israeli settlements in Yehudah and Shomron and the Jordan Valley were discussed in the meeting.

The news follows a Shomron Regional Council announcement an agreement had been reached on the eviction of an outpost.

The Evyatar outpost was established in April following the murder of Yehuda Guetta, Hy”d, in a terrorist attack at the Tapuach Junction. It has since grown at a dizzying pace and nearly 50 families now live there.

According to the compromise reached with the Defense Ministry the residents will leave their homes as early as this week, but around 30 settlers would be allowed back in several weeks.

The statement said that the residents of Evyatar overwhelmingly approved the agreement reached with Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked.

The Civil Administration’s planning committee most recently convened on Jan. 17, in a meeting that saw the approval of 792 housing units in various stages of planning.

Following a construction freeze under the administration of President Barack Obama, former President Donald Trump reached an agreement with former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu according to which the planning committee would hold quarterly meetings. Settlers had been waiting with bated breath to learn when the next meeting would be held. When no date was initially announced, they accused Gantz of acting in coordination with President Biden to prevent the committee from convening, thereby freezing settlement construction.

In late June, the government approved a series of new construction projects in Yehudah and Shomron – its first move on the matter since being sworn in.

The Civil Administration approved plans for 31 building projects in the communities of Elkana, Mishor Adumim, Karnei Shomron, Kfar Adumim and Yitzhar.

The projects include a school for children with special needs in Elkana, a shopping mall in Mishor Adumim and religious buildings in Karnei Shomron and Kfar Adumim. Additionally, the construction of new homes was approved in Yitzhar, as well as zoning changes in existing Yehudah and Shomron communities, Israeli media reported.

Yesha Council members, however, demanded the urgent approval of housing units they said residents of Yehudah and Shomron were in dire need of.