Senior officials in Likud slammed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s plan to extend the area of the Arab city of Qalqilya in Area C while freezing Jewish building in Judea and Samaria.
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said this morning, “The PA continues to incite to terror and harm the security of Israeli civilians. The PA systematically disregards all of its obligations, therefore it is right that the decision to expand Qalqilya be reassessed, as the damage inherent in the plan is great.”
Similarly, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said, “It cannot be that the Arabs of Qalqilya get so many extra points. The addition of thousands of housing units in Qalqilya without significant building in Samaria hurts Jewish settlement. The government must build in accordance with the need and, after long years of a freeze on building, the plans that have been approved are not enough.
Last night, it was announced that 14,000 housing units for 50,000 Arab residents were approved for construction in Area C, which is under full Israeli responsibility, for the city of Qalqilya.
The move would double the size of the city, located in Area A, at the expense of land in Area C which was intended for Israeli development. The plan would bring the city and nearby Jewish communities far closer together.
At the same time, about 2,000 housing units for Jews were approved by the government a week ago in the entirety of Judea and Samaria. The Jewish population of Judea and Samaria is approximately 450,000. It should be noted that this is a long-term outline - the implementation of which could take up to 35 years - and it has been waiting for about ten years for approval.