Karnei Shomron
Karnei Shomron Flash90

The upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump is being greeted with trepidation by the residents of Judea and Samaria, according to Yigal Lahav, the Mayor of Karnei Shomron.

"All we want is to live normal [lives]," Lehav said in an interview with Arutz Sheva.

Karnei Shomron is one of the communities in Judea and Samaria which has been slated recently for new construction. However, construction in the community approved 14 years ago has remained frozen, so the mayor is understandably wary.

According to Lahav, the demand for new housing units is very high in Karnei Shomron, a vibrant community not far from Kfar Saba.

"Our expectation is be like everyone else. Today, we are not like everyone else because of the lack of planning and construction. To this day, we could not even engage in planning [construction]. Now, for the first time, the doors have been opened and we can start building like other places. Karnei Shomron will be like Kfar Saba," he said.

He said that there have been over 120 marriages in Karnei Shomron over the past 15 years, and that hundreds of couples who were not able to build homes in the community were forced to leave for other communities. "The young generation has disappeared from the area."

"We are in an urban area which may be larger than [the city of] Ariel, at least in terms of land reserves. There is no reason for us not to have 40,000 or 50,000 inhabitants. We're a 40 minute drive from Tel Aviv," he added.

Addressing the upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump, Lahav said that Trump is a president who tries to keep his election promises.

"Trump is not a young man. He knows he has one term, and he wants to follow our dreams, and not to grease the wheels of American bureaucracy," he said.

The Trump Presidency carries many promises for Lahav, who hopes that the Israeli government's announcement that 5,000 housing units would be marketed for construction in Judea and Samaria did not surprise the new administration.

He added that construction within the boundaries of existing communities in Area C would be compatible with the president's reported plans to pursue a regional framework for a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, rather than bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

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