Israeli cabinet approves West Bank construction in secret
The Israeli cabinet approved plans for Palestinians to build in the occupied West Bank in secret, in order to prevent ultra-conservative settlers from blocking the plans.
Senior Israeli politicians ratified building plans for construction projects in the area referred to as Area C in the West Bank on October 5.
The project was led by the defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and only surfaced after the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, published details in a report.
The commercial plans, which included approved construction permits, include the expansion of a number of villages near Qalqilya, the creation of an “economic corridor” between Jericho and Jordan, and an industrial zone to the west of Nablus.
Other projects which were approved include a hospital in Beit Sahour, a number of kindergartens and several football fields.
Most of the ministers present voted in favour of the project except for two members of the ultra-conservative party Jewish Home - minister for education, Naftali Bennett, and minister for justice, Ayelet Shaked.
Haaretz reports that the plans were considered “politically sensitive” as Israeli settlers “oppose any building scheme for Palestinians in area C”.Israel approved 902 demolition orders in Area C in 2014 and has demolished more than 14,000 structures since 1988.