MK Bezalel Smotrich
MK Bezalel SmotrichDanny Shemtov, Knesset spokesman

The director-general of the Construction & Planning Ministry, Aviad Friedman, has announced the government’s decision to include Judea and Samaria (including its haredi cities) in the long-term rental housing project managed by the government and incorporated within the Arrangements Law.

The decision follows the stalling of the discussion on the Law in committee, after thousands of objections were raised by MKs Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionism) and Yinon Azoulay (Shas).

In order to restart the committee’s discussions, Friedman was summoned, who promised to increase the construction targets for residential units designated for long-term rent in Judea and Samaria, and also to incorporate a special track of tax benefits for developers and to set aside twenty-five percent of apartments to be rented out at affordable prices to those deemed eligible.

Friedman also committed to divert planning budgets for the implementation of the long-term affordable rental projects in Judea and Samaria.

Responding to the announcement, MK Smotrich expressed his satisfaction, saying, “When we fight for what’s right, we win. People in Judea and Samaria also lack sufficient rental options and they deserve to see the State taking action to find a solution for them, to provide them with more affordable housing.”

Smotrich added that he was “grateful to all those who joined me in this struggle – MK Yinon Azoulay, Finance Committee head MK Alex Kushnir – who admitted the justice of our demand and worked hard to get the government to find a solution. I also want to thank the director-general of the Construction Ministry, who implemented the solution and came in person to present it to the committee. I won’t let the residents of Judea and Samaria down,” he concluded.

Yamina party chairman MK Nir Orbach added, “I want to thank Construction Minister Zeev Elkin, Finance Committee head Alex Kushnir, and Aviad Friedman, the director-general of the Construction Ministry, for their joint work and the great efforts they invested to find a solution that will bring a change for the better in Judea and Samaria. I congratulate them on their achievement and hope to see continued cooperation between all the relevant bodies so that we can keep on bringing good news to the residents of Judea and Samaria.”