Hebrew TV channel 7 on Saturday evening reported that the Israeli Minister of Interior Aryeh Deri has given the green light to the planning and building institutions to prepare for the establishment of a new settlement city in Qalqilya.
This project comes months after the Israeli government backtracked on a plan to expand settlements in Qalqilya.
The Hebrew channel said that the city will include in the first phase three settlements to the southwest of Qalqilya city resulting from bringing four settlements together with a population of more than 20,000 settlers.
The settlements in question are Sheari Tikva, Etz Efraim and Elkana. A forth settlement called Oranit to be added in the future.
The Interior Minister will recommend these settlement blocs to be fused before the elections to be held in October 2018.
According to Deri, by 2023 Oranit settlement will be annexed to the new settlement bloc which will be then officially declared as a city in the occupied West Bank.
Channel 7 said that Deri’s initiative is supported by all heads of the settlement blocs included in the project. They believe that the initiative will achieve optimal utilization of the Palestinian lands confiscated for settlement expansion.
(Source / 18.02.2018)