Israeli occupation authorities are planning to set up new large settlement city on the western borders of the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reports reported on Wednesday.
According to Quds Press, the Israeli news website 0404 revealed that a special committee was assigned by the Israeli interior ministry six months ago to prepare for the plan.
The committee offered its recommendations on Wednesday, the Israeli site said, noting that the committee recommended bringing a number of settlements together to create a large settlement city applicable for expansion.
According to the news website, the settlements in question are Oranit, south of Qalqilia, Sheari Tikva, in the east, Etz Efraim, in the villages of Qalqilia and Elkana in the west of Salfit.
Bringing these settlements together means including all the areas between them, where it had previously been impossible to construct. Practically, this means expanding these settlements, the Israeli website commented, noting that up to $30m will be invested in the development of the new ‘city’.
As part of the recommendation, the committee said that these settlements cost much money as each one of them has its own municipal council, but when brought together, they would constitute only one council and thus cutting the costs.
This plan, the website said, was proposed several years ago and each time it was postponed; if approved, it would be the first settlement city in 20 years.
Quds Press said that the Israeli website referred to the settlement of Ariel, in the south of Nablus, as the last settlement city, which includes a university, culture centre and mall.
Tzipi Hotovely, the deputy Israeli foreign minister, said that uniting the four settlements and turning them into one city is a “needed right step,” noting it is a clear message to the whole world that settlements are expanding.