New settlements planned in the heart of the West Bank

PNN/ Nablus/

The Israeli government on Sunday approved a map of “national priority” areas, including a number of settlements in the heart of the occupied West Bank.

The map aims to promote Israeli migration to the towns on the map, as well as to grant larger budgets for building. The National Law will increase budgets to “strengthen the Jewish character of Israel.”

The settlements referred to are: Magron, Shvut Rahal and Kerem Re’em, usually referred to as “isolated settlements” because they are built outside major settlement blocs in the West Bank.

The newspaper Ha’aretz, reported today that the economic and living conditions in these settlements are not within the criteria of the Israeli Ministry of Housing which proposes  that “neighborhoods away from their mother towns are not dependent on the infrastructure of the mother town”.

The item is designed to support settlements that are technically only part of larger towns but are in fact independent towns. The three settlements referred to above are part of larger settlements but are on their own.

The Israeli Ministry of Housing has also decided to return the settlement of Ariel to the map, after it was removed from it in the past.

Last year, The Marker revealed that 30 percent of tax-free Israeli towns because of their status as “national priority” areas are settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The number of towns that have acquired the status of “national preference” is 407 towns, including more than 130 settlements which are all tax exempted. This roughly amounts to NIS 350 million.

Source: Arab 48.