Israel to advance plans for 3,000 housing units in Judea

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday night agreed to convene the Defense Ministry body that authorizes construction in Judea and Samaria, to approve plans for over 3,000 new housing units in response to the deadly terror attack near Ma’ale Adumim.

The decision was made during a meeting between Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich.

The proposal to be brought for approval by the Higher Planning Council includes the construction of 2,350 units in Ma’ale Adumim, 694 units in Efrat and 300 units in Kedar.

The move came just hours after three Palestinian terrorists murdered Matan Elmaleh, 26, and wounded six others in a shooting attack on the Route 1 highway. The terrorists, armed with assault rifles, opened fire on vehicles waiting in traffic to pass through the az-Za’ayyem checkpoint en route to Jerusalem.

Smotrich, who is also a minister in the Defense Ministry, said Thursday night that the appropriate response to the attack was to build more Jewish homes across the Green Line.

“May every terrorist planning to harm us know that lifting a finger against Israeli citizens will be met with a death blow and destruction, in addition to the deepening of our eternal grip on the entire Land of Israel,” said Smotrich.

Gush Etzion Regional Council head and chairman of the Yesha Council Shlomo Ne’eman praised the government’s decision to build, describing it as a “Zionist response” to terror.

“The development of Judea and Samaria is the appropriate response to anyone who tries to harm us or undermine our rights to the land. We hope that the rest of the housing units awaiting approval will be greenlighted as soon as possible,” said Ne’eman.

“There is no need to wait for another deadly attack. Our enemies should know that we do not cower from acts of terrorism. We must continue to develop and establish our hold on all parts of the Land of Israel,” he added.

The move is liable to cause friction with the Biden administration, which vehemently opposes the “settlement” enterprise.

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