construction in Judea and Samaria (archive)
construction in Judea and Samaria (archive)istock

The Supreme Planning Council of the Civil Administration today (Wednesday) approved the construction of 3,130 housing units for Jews throughout Judea and Samaria.

This is the first time during the tenure of the Bennett-Lapid government that the council convened and construction was approved.

On Sunday, the council will convene once again and approve the construction of about 1,300 housing units for Palestinian Arabs in Area C.

It will be recalled that at the beginning of the week, tenders were published by the Israel Land Authority for the marketing of 1,355 housing units in Judea and Samaria.

This is also the first approval of settlement construction during the administration of US President Joe Biden, a fact which has angered the administration.

The Biden Administration sent a sharp protest to the Prime Minister's Office over the Israeli government's decision to promote the planning and construction of about 3,000 new housing units in settlements in Judea and Samaria, Walla Barak Ravid reported Tuesday.

US Consul General in Jerusalem Michael Ratnani called Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's political adviser, Shimrit Meir following the announcement of the approval of the housing units last week and clarified that the administration takes construction in the settlements very seriously.

Rathani noted that the United States is particularly concerned about the fact that about two-thirds of all housing units brought in for approval are located in isolated settlements deep in Judea and Samaria and outside the large settlement blocs.

In addition, US Secretary of State Antony Binken said to Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz that the plans for new construction plans in the settlements is "unacceptable".

According to a report by Barak Ravid (Walla News and Axios) there was a tense telephone conversation between the two yesterday.

The US Secretary of State clarified in the call that he "expects Israel to pay greater consideration in the future the US position on the settlements."

Samaria Regional Council chairman Yossi responded to the American criticism, saying that a government "with a minimum of national dignity" must put the State Department in its place.

"I call on the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister to put the State Department spokesman and Deputy Ambassador in their place, and make it clear to them that the British Mandate and the Turkish government have long since ended," Dagan added.

"No government in Israel can hide behind the excuses of American pressure because the decision is only the Israeli government's. There were pressures, there are pressures, and there will be pressures to come. The ball has never been in Washington, it is always in Jerusalem. This is not Biden, this is Bennett, this is not the State Department, this is the Israeli government.

Dagan, who concluded a marathon of meetings with senior American officials in Washington, stressed that "half a million citizens in the State of Israel are not second class citizens in this country. Most of the people in the State of Israel - clearly seen according to the party map - expect construction all over Judea and Samaria and so it will be."