When the Religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudit parties signed an agreement with Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government in the Knesset, they had many conditions for joining. Some of the key conditions that they laid out are now being fulfilled by Netanyahu and many of them could be very exciting for the residents of Judea and Samaria.
First of all, one of the main conditions for Religious Zionism was the transfer of much of the Defense Minister’s authority over Israeli civilians in Area C of Judea and Samaria to their party head, Bezalel Smotrich. Bezalel Smotrich is extremely supportive of Judea and Samaria, so giving him much of the authority over the area will be very exciting.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Galant, and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich met to finalize this transfer. Once this shift of authority over Area C is complete, the government will not only majorly reduce bureaucratic red tape on Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, but will also take a step towards the direct application of Israeli law in Area C. Some critics have called this plan a “mini annexation,” which in my opinion, sounds like the best thing that will have happened in Judea and Samaria in a long time.
This plan, or reform, as some are calling it, will make building infrastructure much easier, including expanding roads in the area by allowing the authorities to calculate demand by the entire population of Judea and Samaria, taking into account Palestinian Arab use of infrastructure, rather than estimating the needs based solely on the Israeli population.
As I mentioned before, this reform will massively scale back the limits on Israeli construction (which are quite outrageous), enabling rapid expansion of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. At present, all Israeli construction plans must be approved by five different entities and must have five permits that sometimes take years to obtain. Under the new plan, the number of permits needed would be cut down to two.
Also the new plan would mandate more frequent meetings for the Higher Planning Committee. The Higher Planning Committee is basically the main authority for authorizing new construction in Judea and Samaria. Rather than meet once every three to six months, like they did before, they would now convene once a month. There is also talk of a second planning committee being formed. As of right now, approximately 18,000 new housing units are waiting to be approved by the committee and are expected to be approved soon!
Along with these promises that Netanyahu is fulfilling right now, he also has plans to begin regulating the status of dozens of new communities in Judea and Samaria. The move to legalize these new settlements was one of the major conditions of the Otzma Yehudit party for joining the government. According to their agreement, the government is supposed to regularize the status of the young settlements within a very short period of time. The agreement states that a team of ministers headed by the Prime Minister will be chosen within 30 days of the government’s formation and that within 60 days, a decision must be made regarding the legalization of older communities. And then, within 18 months of the government being formed, all the basic infrastructure of the new communities must be stabilized.
So while Netanyahu is not declaring sovereignty over Judea and Samaria yet, he is fulfilling his coalition agreements and making some amazing moves for the Biblical Heartland. If the international community would stand up for Judea and Samaria, instead of always pressuring the Israeli government to stop building communities, then I believe that Netanyahu would declare sovereignty tomorrow.
Go Bibi…. That land belongs to Israel, always has and also will.
I am for the joining for it seems to fill Biblical prophecy. So one can expect opposition. God is still in charge!!
Samaria and Judea are the ancestral, biblical and historical National Jewish Heartland and, therefore, are part of the Jewish Nation State of Israel, which must be restored, not annexed, to the Jewish Nation State of Israel. Only foreign lands or territories are annexed by an invading, conquering military power. This does not apply to Israel, which liberated Samaria and Judea during the Arab – Israeli Six Days War in June of 1967.
Israel is filling its own land with its own people. Sounds fair enough.
‘Palestinians’ have no history; no passports; no currency. they are probably Jordanian. Many of them cause trouble and unpleasantness (to put it mildly) to Israel. They want a one state solution, with no Jews. This will never happen.