Daily Israel Report

4,000 Dunams in Judea and Samaria to Become State Land

Government announces process that will enable development of Israel's biblical heartland; meanwhile previous promises still unfulfilled.
By Uzi Baruch, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 8/31/2014, 9:43 AM

Ma'ale Adumim in Judea (file)
Ma'ale Adumim in Judea (file)
Flash 90

A government spokesperson announced Sunday morning that following instructions issued by the political echelon after Operation Brother's Keeper, 4,000 dunams (988 acres) of Judea and Samaria land will be declared state land, opening the possibility of further construction in the region.

The spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) stated that "the process was enabled after a thorough examination by the Civil Administration's zoning crew."

According to a military spokesperson cited by AFP, the land is near Gevaot, to the south of Beitar Illit in Judea.

Extreme leftist groups and Arab residents of Judea and Samaria will have a month and a half to submit opposition in the courts to the process of incorporating the 4,000 dunams into state land.

By declaring the area state land, the Knesset would enable the construction and expansion of Jewish communities in the region, although the process may take long years to complete.

Judea and Samaria is reportedly over 90% unpopulated, leading many to argue that the development of Israel's biblical heartland would solve the housing crisis plaguing the Jewish state.

Meanwhile in the Samaria community of Beit El, residents are still waiting for the fulfillment of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's promise to build 300 housing units, a promise made after the Ulpana neighborhood was uprooted last year, and which Netanyahu called a response to the leftist petitions against the neighborhood.

Beit El Mayor Moshe Rosenboim told Arutz Sheva last June that the petitions were baseless as the Arab petitioners had no evidence of ever owning land on the site of the neighborhood, adding "I can promise that no Arab had purchased land here."

Netanyahu still has not signed the order to commence the construction he promised in Beit El. Even after the peace talks were torpedoed by the Palestinian Authority (PA) in April, Netanyahu reportedly admitted to folding to US pressure and freezing construction in Judea and Samaria, despite the fact that such a "gesture" was not even part of the talk conditions.