'We have to change the system'

Head of Gush Etzion Regional Council welcomes new building permits, but says process in which construction is approved "overseas" must end.

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Hezki Baruch,

Shlomo Ne'eman
Shlomo Ne'eman
Eliran Aharon

Shlomo Ne'eman, the head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, on Tuesday evening addressed the firestorm that erupted following the publication of the agenda of next week's meeting of the Civil Administration's Supreme Planning Council.

On Sunday, it was reported that a total of 3,829 housing units in Judea and Samaria would be approved next week, but the agenda publicized Tuesday shows that less than a quarter of the units in question will receive approval in practice.

"We are studying the agenda of the Supreme Planning Council, which is scheduled to convene next week. There is no doubt that this is a significant achievement for the settlement enterprise compared to the 'years of famine' that we experienced during Obama's term," Ne'eman said.

"During the meeting, they are expected to approve construction of housing units in Gush Etzion. This is a small, but significant step in the development and construction of the bloc. We are expected to receive permits to build 651 units. There is no doubt that the fight we waged after we didn't receive even one permit in a previous meeting of the Supreme Planning Council bore fruit," he continued.

"We will not take our foot off the gas even for one moment and will continue to act to ensure that everything that is approved next week will be built as soon as possible and at the same time we will continue to plan and approve thousands of additional housing units," stressed Ne'eman.

"At the same time, the real expectation of the citizens of Israel who are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the renewal of the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria is a change in the system," Ne'eman added.

"We cannot accept the fact that every Jewish home here requires special approval from overseas. This is not only national humiliation, it is a violation of Israel's independence on its soil. It is our right and duty to build this land, settle it and be the sovereign in it. We are not denying the achievements of the prime minister, but we are demanding a courageous move that will change the system. We have to be the sovereign in this land,” he concluded.