Construction in Ariel, Samaria
Construction in Ariel, SamariaFlash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is pushing plans for more than 3,000 new housing units in Judea and Samaria, just before the Likud party’s internal leadership race, Israel Hayom reported Wednesday.

Netanyahu announced plans Tuesday night for more than 3,000 new homes in Judea and Samaria, along with plans for new industrial zones in the area.

The proposed projects will be brought up for a vote at the next meeting of the Higher Planning Committee in approximately two weeks.

The announcement comes less than two days before voting begins in the Likud party’s internal leadership race, pitting the incumbent, Netanyahu, against challenger Gideon Sa’ar.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who had refrained from publicly backing either candidate hitherto, endorsed Netanyahu on Tuesday, depriving Sa’ar of the hoped-for endorsement from a senior Likud minister.

The plans for the new housing projects and industrial zones in Judea and Samaria were announced just days after Netanyahu cancelled a planned meeting of an inter-ministerial committee assigned to prepare the groundwork for the application of Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley.

According to a Yediot Aharonot report, the meeting was cancelled after the International Criminal Court announced last Friday that it would investigate Israel for alleged war crimes in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.

But later on Tuesday, Arutz Sheva reported that the committee meeting had been rescheduled, and would be held in the Prime Minister’s Office in a week-and-a-half.

In September, Netanyahu announced that if re-elected, he would apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley – Israel’s eastern border – making it the first territory since 1981 to be placed under Israeli sovereignty, and the first part of Judea and Samaria to be added to the sovereign State of Israel since the summer of 1967.