Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman approved the construction of 3,000 more homes across Judea and Samaria, even as the country is in upheaval over the forced evacuation of the Amona settlement.
Tuesday’s move follows a similar decision made by Netanyahu last week to approve the construction of 2,500 new homes in the area.
The Israeli government’s recent moves in the disputed territories likely stem from, among other things, the fact that the new U.S. administration of President Donald Trump does not vocally oppose settlement construction, a sharp break from the administration of former President Barack Obama.
Both recent construction approvals aim to meet the needs of Judea and Samaria’s residents and have been described as a “return to normalcy” after years of scarce construction.
“This is a new era and life across Judea and Samaria can return to its normal and correct course. We will meet the needs of those living in the area,” Lieberman said.
The order issued Tuesday includes the construction of new homes in the Samaria community of Alfei Menashe (700 homes); Gush Etzion’s Beitar Illit (650); the southwest Samaria settlement of Oranit (200); the Jerusalem suburb of Givat Ze’ev (150); Beit Aryeh, north of Jerusalem (650); Nokdim, south of Bethlehem (150); Karnei Shomron, north of Jerusalem (100); Shilo, north of Jerusalem (100); Shavei Shomron, west of Nablus (70); and the Gush Etzion community of Efrat (30).