Leaders of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria reacted angrily after it was revealed that the political echelon approved the construction of 14,000 housing units in the Arab city of Qalqiliya, allowing the city to expand from Area A into Area C. The number of housing units approved for the city was seven times the number of housing units approved for all Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
In addition, the construction permits are contrary to the IDF's security requirements regarding construction near the security fence. The regulations stipulate that no construction will be carried out within 200 meters of the fence. However, the planned expansion would bring the city to within 50 meters of the fence.
Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council, said in response to the plan that "someone has lost his mind, not only has a reward been given to the city of Qalqilya, but they are going further and allowing it, unlike Jewish communities, to be located next to the separation fence."
"This is the crossing of another red line," Dagan said. "The town of Tzufim and the Samaria Regional Council will fight this matter, which, incidentally, also affects settlements within the Green Line - Kochav Yair, Kfar Saba and others."
"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."
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) also condemned the plan. "It is unacceptable that the Arabs of Qalqiliya have more rights [than Jewish residents]. The addition of thousands of housing units in Qalqiliya without significant construction in Samaria harms Jewish settlement. The government is committed to building according to the needs of the area and after the long years of the building freeze, the approved plans [for Jewish construction] are insufficient."