Judea and Samaria
Judea and SamariaHadas Parush/Flash 90.

The Supreme Planning Council in Judea and Samaria on Wednesday approved the construction of approximately 3,500 new housing units in Maaleh Adumim, Efrat, and Kedar.

Symbolically, the meeting was held exactly one year after the responsibility for civil affairs in Judea and Samaria was transferred to Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionism), as part of his role as a minister in the Defense Ministry. During this year, a total of 18,515 housing units were approved for construction in Judea and Samaria - the highest number of housing units ever approved in a single year.

Smotrich praised the approval, saying, "This year we did great things for the settlements - this is a good start. Parallel to the approval for the housing units, we are advancing a series of young settlements, land surveys and announcements, security components, and roads in Judea and Samaria, at a scope which is unprecedented.

"Our enemies seek to harm us and weaken our hold on the land, and our message is exactly the opposite: The State of Israel will continue, G-d willing, to flourish and develop in all its areas, and the settlements will continue to grow, thrive, and flourish.

"Today, everyone already understands: Where there is settlement throughout our land, there is security - where there is no settlement, there are monsters of terror which threaten the entire State of Israel. The settlements in Judea and Samaria are the security belt of the entire State of Israel - they are Israel's shield.

"I thank the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Strategic Affairs Minister, and the Civil Adinistration and Planning Office for their cooperation," he concluded.

Gush Etzion Regional Council head Yesha Council chief Shlomo Ne’eman praised the decision, saying, "We applaud you for the approximately 3,500 housing units that were approved today for Maaleh Adumim, Efrat, and Kedar, which is in Gush Etzion."

"Following many months of delaying the meeting, and especially during these difficult times, the continuation of construction in Judea and Samaria is the most appropriate Zionist response.

"We thank Prime Minister Netanyahu; the Finance Minister and Minister serving in the Defense Ministry, Betzalel Smotrich; Minster of Defense Yoav Gallant; Minister of Settlements Orit Strock; the government ministers; and staff of the Settlement Administration in the Defense Ministry; and the Civil Administration, for placing Judea and Samaria on the high road to rectify the historical injustices and strengthen sovereignty in the region. What remains currently is to approve the additional housing units that are listed. The Yesha Council will continue to work with the minsters and planning authorities to obtain approval for these units so that construction in Judea and Samaria will not cease."