Shlomo Ne'eman
Shlomo Ne'emanHillel Meir/TPS

Shlomo Ne'eman, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, is furious at the decision of Prime Minister Netanyahu not to approve the construction of 100 housing units in the community of Ibei Hanachal in Gush Etzion, which would have enabled the authorization of the outpost.

"We received with astonishment the decision to remove in the middle of the night the plan for the community of Ibei Hanachal from the agenda of the Supreme Planning Council meeting that took place this morning," said Ne’eman.

"For us, this is a very serious signal. It is inconceivable that the Israeli government makes a decision many months ago to authorize a young community when in fact, not only does nothing happen - even worse - the Gush Etzion Council has been actively working under my leadership for a whole year to meet all the professional and legal requirements of the plan."

"Now that everything is ready and there are no practical obstacles and we got to the agenda and reached the trough - we found a broken trough. We are disappointed every time anew, both by the quantity and pace of construction in Judea and Samaria, and this morning things have fallen in Israel - the government removes a plan from a discussion of a planning council that is a professional body, following an order from overseas."

Ne'eman added, "This lack of control and lack of authority raise anew the question of Israel's enemies and the enemies of settlement - who is the sovereign here. We are now finishing a year and its curses, including the demolition of homes in Netiv Ha’avot, which was also a sign of the government's loss of control in Judea and Samaria, and we pray that a new year and its blessings will begin - blessings for the settlement enterprise.”

Earlier today, the Supreme Planning Council of the Civil Administration approved construction of more than 1,000 housing units throughout Judea and Samaria.

Almost half of the housing units, about 436, are located in the Samaria Regional Council. However, council head Yossi Dagan is not rushing to celebrate. "We're happy about each and every house in Samaria but the truth must be told, that hundreds of housing units aren't enough for an area that constitutes 12% of the State of Israel, with thousands of requests if not more every year.”

"Half-a-million people in Judea and Samaria can't be satisfied with approval of a thousand housing units, which is clear to every reasonable person. We expect the government to shift into high gear, stop worrying about what they'll say overseas, and promote this beautiful region that's located in the heart of the country and has strategic and historical significance that's clear to everyone," added Dagan.

Among the construction approved by the Supreme Planning Council were 400 new housing units in the village of Adam in Binyamin, where Yotam Ovadia was murdered in a stabbing attack one month ago.

The Yesha Council expressed deep disappointment. "This is a small amount and the smallest number of housing units approved in the last year-and-a-half. In the previous committees, the number of building permits was between 2,000 and 3,000 housing units, which were also relatively small compared to the total number of permits in the entire country, which are tens of thousands of housing units.”

"It is precisely a national government that shouldn't reduce construction, but expand. We call upon the Prime Minister to remove restrictions and barriers and order broad construction throughout Judea and Samaria, as in the rest of the country. This can and should be done today."