Israel approves new Yesha housing projects

Days after UN special envoy demands Israel halt construction in Judea and Samaria, government approves nearly 300 new units in Yesha.

David Rosenberg ,

Construction in Samaria
Construction in Samaria
Flash 90

Just days after a United Nations special envoy issued a sharp condemnation of continued Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, the Israeli government approved hundreds of new housing units over the Green Line, and granted retroactive approval for another 179 existing units.

On Monday UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, excoriated Israel over the continued construction by Jews in communities across Judea and Samaria, something he claimed was “illegal under international law.”

“No legal acrobatics can change the fact that all outposts, whether legalized by Israeli law or not, whether located on state land or absentee land or private Palestinian land - just like all settlements in Area C and East Jerusalem - remain illegal under international law.”

Despite the pressure, however, on Wednesday Israel gave the green light to 284 new housing units across Samaria. A 234-unit retirement home in the western Samarian town of Elkana was among the projects given approval, along with 30 private houses in Beit Aryeh and 20 units in the town of Givat Ze’ev.

In addition, 179 existing housing units in Ofarim were retroactively approved.

According to Mladenov, Israel has ramped up construction in both eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria in the past two months, with more than 1,000 new housing units in the capital receiving approval since July 1st, along with 735 across Yesha.

Mladenov also claimed Israel was paving the way for the establishment of a new community in Judea, near the town of Bethlehem, a move he slammed as a step towards the “dismemberment of the southern West Bank”.