Daily Israel Report

Exclusive: the '7 Finger' Plan for 300 Homes

The Defense Ministry drew up a plan for 300 new homes in Beit El – but the state's lawyers have not approved it.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/13/2012, 9:15 PM

Caravan homes for Givat HaUlpana evictees.
Caravan homes for Givat HaUlpana evictees.
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Arutz Sheva has obtained details of a plan drawn up by the Defense Ministry for building 300 new homes in Beit El, in accordance with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's commitment to make up for the demolition of 30 homes there.

The map provided by the Defense Ministry outlines seven "fingers" – so called because of their elongated topographical shape – in which the new housing can be built. However, all seven locations require approval from the State Attorney's Office, which is notoriously leftist and opposed to the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron).

The first location offered is a 21 dunam (roughly 5 acre) plot on "state land" near the pre-military academy.

The second is a plot on which 83 units can be built. It is land that was expropriated through a military order and thus any construction there would require approval from the State Attorney and the Minister of Defense.

The third "finger" is a plot that can hold 39 housing units – but it also was obtained through military expropriation.

 The fourth location is a 136 dunam (about 34 acre) plot east of Beit El. It would require approvals from the Deputy Legal Advisor to the Government as well as government-level approval for enlarging Beit El's municipal area and would require advancement of zoning and planning procedures.

The fifth planned location is the Border Police base. These are "state lands" within the Beit El limits but the plot is only eight dunams (two acres) in size.

The sixth location is the Binyamin Brigade base that takes up 43 dunams (almost 11 acres) of "state land." Construction there would require relocation of the military base.

The seventh suggested location is another Border Police base that takes up 10 dunams (2.5 acres). Construction there would require relocation of the base and enlargement of Beit El's municipal area.

A political source said Wednesday: "At this time, it appears that Netanyahu fooled the residents when he promised them 300 residential units. Netanyahu knew that the legal establishment would not approve construction on land designated as 'military expropriation' and it seems unlikely anyone is about to relocate military bases anytime soon. Netanyahu has a problem but my recommendation is that he should tell the public the truth even if it is unpleasant, rather than deceiving it. Netanyahu needs to begin ruling."