Silvan Shalom (center) with Judea and Samaria community leaders
Silvan Shalom (center) with Judea and Samaria community leaders Courtesy

Interior Minister Silvan Shalom was regaled as a hero of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria Wednesday, as the Yesha Council presented him with its most prestigious award.

The mass event, which took place in Givat Ze'ev, a suburb of Jerusalem located in the Binyamin region, brought together local and regional officials and leaders to pay tribute to Shalom, who for years has quietly – but very effectively – helped make it easier for tens of thousands of Jews to buy homes in Judea and Samaria.

Yesha Council Chairman Avi Ro'eh thanked Shalom – and his chief of staff, Orna Hausman-Bechor – for their ongoing assistance throughout their careers, long before Shalom was named Interior Minister in the current government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The Yesha Council represents Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Accompanying the award was a letter signed by all Judea and Samaria local council leaders and mayors, thanking him for his “brave support in ensuring the wholeness of the Land of Israel and the encouragement of settlement throughout Judea, Samaria, and the Jordan Valley.”

An emotional Shalom told members of the audience that there was still much to do. “We all want the situation to improve even more, and God willing we will be increasing the assistance to all local authorities and municipalities in Judea and Samaria. I intend to execute in Judea and Samaria the same model I executed in the Negev and the Galilee, and inaugurate and see through infrastructure, health projects, schools, roads, and much more.”

Not only would the Interior Ministry be at the service of communities in Judea and Samaria, said Shalom, but as Deputy Prime Minister, another title he holds in the current government, he would make sure that “all government ministries take part in this important project.”