Will the city of Efrat be included in the latest Israeli plans to build new Jewish homes? Its mayor Oded Revivi certainly hopes so.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva on Wednesday, Revivi said that residents of Efrat heard that as part of the latest construction plans for Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem announced by Israel in response to the Palestinian Authority’s UN statehood bid, Efrat was to receive 600 new homes. However, he said, those were still unconfirmed rumors.
“In the past all the rumors were realized, and now we are waiting for a final signature so we can sell 1,200 units, of which 600 were already approved a year ago,” he said.
"Efrat has a number of neighborhoods that have not yet exhausted most of their potential,” Revivi said. “All the neighborhoods are connected in a sequence and every night you can see the residents of southern Efrat walking towards the northern neighborhoods.”
New housing for Efrat was approved in December of last year, after Israel’s ten-month construction freeze which failed to revive peace talks with the PA. If more housing received government approval, it would probably be snapped up instantly. The city is a place where both native-born Israelis and immigrant Anglos feel at home.
“For a decade Efrat was a under construction freeze imposed by the government,” Revivi said. “Over the last decade the community has not grown demographically but in terms of people, the community has grown and multiplied. Couples and families have been living in secondary housing units. At the same time, the residents feel that it is very important to continue to develop the Gush Etzion area and therefore they continued to live here despite the freeze.”
Last year, Efrat waged a sophisticated media campaign for renewal of construction. In one anonymously published video, a woman named Efrat was seen voicing disappointment over a man named Binyamin who neglected her after promising her the world.
The video left people guessing, and eventually turned out to have been produced by the Efrat authority. The names of the protagonists referred to the town of Efrat and to Binyamin Netanyahu, who was not living up to promises he made to develop Efrat.