Ehud Barak Approves Plans to Build 500 New Housing Units in Itamar
On Monday 12th November, Haaretz Israeli newspaper revealed that Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, has agreed on a plan to build 538 new housing units in Itamar settlement southeast of Nablus Governorate, even though there is no plan in effect for the settlement to expand it to five times its size.
Haaretz obtained documents that confirm that the construction of the settlement, which was founded in 1984 on Palestinian land, is illegal, which means that no legal building permits can be issued. Yet since the murder of five members of the Fogel family on the settlement in March 2011, the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria has approved on the construction of new housing units.
According to the documents obtained, a meeting took place on September 24 in Barak's office to discuss the new plan for Itamar. It was decided to retroactively approve 137 homes that are already built without permits, and to build an additional 538 homes.
Left-wing activist against settlement, Dror Etkes, said that stealing Palestinian lands has become a pattern embedded in the agenda of the leaders who support settlement construction.