ISRAEL - Plans for Four Times More Settlements

Arno Froese

Israel will have advanced plans for 12,000 settler homes in 2017, Israeli officials said as they continued to defend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against charges that he had not done enough for Jewish building in the West Bank.

The Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria is set to hold its third meeting this year. According to officials, it will advance plans for 3,763 homes, bringing the total to close to 12,000.

That’s four times the number of plans that were debated in 2016, the officials said. This includes projects for settlements that have not seen new homes in many years. Among the projects on the list is new housing for the Jewish community in Hebron, permanent homes for the evacuees from the Migron outpost and 300 homes for the Beit El settlement.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, who is a member of the Likud Central Committee and an ardent supporter of US President Donald Trump, has had particularly harsh things to say about Netanyahu’s settlement policy.

He explained that, in reality, the list involved only 700 new units.

Netanyahu has continued to clamp down on settlement building, just as he did during the former Obama Administration, Dagan charged.

“Unfortunately, Netanyahu is missing a historic opportunity here,” Dagan said.

In particular, he noted the absence of industrial zones and roads from the list. Trump might not like the settlement building, but won’t condemn it as Obama did, Dagan said.

The Palestinians condemned Israeli plans to promote more settlement homes.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee member Hanan Ashram said, “Clearly, Israel is bent on entrenching the military occupation and its illegal settlement enterprise, further reaffirming its intentions of displacing Palestine and replacing it with ‘Greater Israel.’”

According to Palestinian news agency WAFA, Ashram spoke against the building during a meeting with Norwegian Representative Hilde Haraldstad in Ramallah.

“Rather than becoming party to Israel’s unlawful breach of international law and conventions, the global community should hold Israel accountable for acting outside the law before it destroys the prospects of a viable Palestinian state, peace and stability indefinitely,” she said, according to WAFA., 10 October 2017

Arno's commentary

Settlements? Not really; they are subdivisions. The definition “settlement” indicates that land was appropriated by military force, and the inhabitants subjected under a new ruler or expelled (or even killed). That certainly was the case throughout history; for example, on the American continent (North and South), where some 35 sovereign countries have been established.

Israel, however, can point to the oldest document, the Bible: “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates” (Genesis 15:18). Historically speaking, the Jews have been present in the Promised Land for over 3,500 years.

Furthermore, archeology has discovered Jewish presence throughout the Promised Land; thus, Israel building subdivisions on their land is but normal. Yet the whole world, without exception, condemns Israel for taking possession of the Promised Land.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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