Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrichצילום: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

In a Cabinet meeting in February 2023, it was decided to normalize ten Jewish towns, in accordance with the coalition agreement signed with the Religious Zionism party headed by Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

Channel 12 News analyst Amit Segal has now reported that from a section of the decision, it is clear that the normalization process will continue and include an additional number of communities. In addition, in recent weeks Smotrich passed guidelines to government offices, based on the Cabinet's instruction to approve 68 communities.

Among the communities on the list are Malachei Hashalom (near where Binyamin Achimeir was murdered in cold blood last week); the towns of Gva'ot Shiloh, including Adei Ad, Esh Kodesh, Ahiya, Kida, Maaleh Shlomo, Mitzpe Kramim, Neve Erez, Mitzpe Dani, Mitzpe Hagit, Neve Achi near Neve Tzuf, Harasha, Sde Ephraim, and the Neve Shir neighborhood in the town of Eli.

The decision and the work which has been done following the decision mean that the State sees and recognizes these communities, and that they will become official towns, instead of being evacuated.

The decision will also allow the towns to be connected to existing infrastructure, which until now was not allowed, and government offices will be able to serve the families in these towns as they serve all other Israelis. Local government, as well, will be better able to provide the residents of these families with services.

Yesha Council Chairman Shlomo Ne’eman responded, "We welcome the progress on the approvals for 68 'young communities' in Judea and Samaria. These are communities established years ago and sanctioned by the country. This is definitely a strategic move for the entire enterprise of Judea and Samaria and an important step towards correcting the injustice for thousands of residents who have been living in these communities for years without proper infrastructure. This is an important answer, especially at this time, to those who don't want to see us here. We thank Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the Minister of Finance and Minister in the Ministry of Defense, Bezalel Smotrich for furthering the process."