An Israeli plan to build 113,000 housing units in the northern West Bank

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's right-wing party is planning a plan to build 113,000 new housing units in the northern West Bank, allegedly to solve the housing crisis in the Jewish state, the Hebrew Channel 7 reported on Sunday.

The Hebrew channel, on Thursday, that the leaders of the "right", headed by former Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, published on Wednesday their plan to resolve the housing crisis in "Israel", and proposed to build more than 110 thousand new apartments in the northern West Bank, containing half a million settlers.

According to Channel 7, Shaked stated during the presentation of the plan in the settlement of Ats Ephraim built on Palestinian land west of Salfit, that "the Tel Aviv area is almost as crowded and expensive as New York."

"The various magic tricks we have seen in recent years have not worked," Shaked said.

The occupation has witnessed a sharp rise in the price of houses in the past 15 years, and about half of its population lives in the Tel Aviv area, while about 450,000 settlers in the West Bank.

The right-wing party's plan includes building 113,000 housing units in about 8,650 acres within what Israel considers government land in the northern West Bank between the settlements of Rosh Ha'ayin and Ariel in five years.

The proposal offers four-room apartments priced at 965,000 shekels ($ 275,000), compared to 1.7 million shekels ($ 486,000), which the party said was the average price for such a house in the Tel Aviv area.

Transportation Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who is third in the right-wing party's list, boasted that by combining "ideology and practical thinking, the plan would help erase the Green Line that divides Israel and the West Bank."

Education Minister Rafi Peretz, who ranks second on the party's list, said he was working to ensure more students and soldiers visit the West Bank to "connect with their roots."

And condemned the "democratic camp" left-line, claiming that "Shaked and Smotrich decided to turn the entire population into settlers, (..), want to transfer citizens of the state to live in settlements."

"Instead of investing in unnecessary settlements and harming the prospect of peace, the state of Israel should focus on dealing with real hardships and strengthening marginal towns in the Negev and the Galilee," said the anti-settlement organization Peace Now.

The construction of settlements in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan is contrary to all international principles and the Charter of the United Nations.

The most recent of these resolutions was UN Security Council Resolution 2334 of 23 December 2016, which called for an immediate and complete cessation of settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.


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