Report: Dozens of Communities in Yehudah and Shomron to Receive Official Recognition

General view of the Jewish community of Karnei Shomron. (Sraya Diamant/Flash90)

Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben-Gvir plans to launch a new effort that could culminate with a boost to grant retroactive approval to unauthorized communities across Yehudah and Shomron, Yisrael Hayom reported.

According to the plan, under his new portfolio, Ben-Gvir plans to advance measures to expropriate land for developing infrastructure, as well as to allot hundreds of thousands of shekels to various unrecognized communities that have so far lacked official status The plan depends in part on having the necessary sign-off from the various other agencies outside his ministry. It also includes a boost to the staff in the Civil Administration, which administers civilian matters in Yehudah and Shomron on behalf of the Defense Ministry, to make the implementation go faster.

The plan is a direct consequence of the newly announced agreement between Likud and Otzma Yehudit that guarantees the latter’s support in the upcoming confidence vote to swear in Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu as prime minister for the sixth time. The decision to grant the party overall responsibility for the approval process of unauthorized settlements has led to a backlash on the right, with some accusing Netanyahu of handing over this prerogative to Ben-Gvir despite him lacking the required experience, in an apparent effort to avoid any meaningful progress on this hotly contested issue.

Under the details of the plan, obtained by Yisrael Hayom, the Cabinet will pass a motion within 60 days of Netanyahu becoming prime minister. The motion would grant the necessary approval for 60 unauthorized communities in Yehudah and Shomron.

The motion would instruct the various agencies in a host of ministries to ensure the necessary procedural requirements to finalize the status of those communities are met within 18 months. The government would also advance legislation to amend the law in a way that would allow those communities to connect to the national electricity grid and allot some NIS 180 million ($65 million) per year for building and maintaining various infrastructure, including water and sewage systems, roads, electricity pylons, and roads. On top of that, the government will create a special budget to bolster security there, amounting to some NIS 25 million ($8 million) per year.

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