The Israeli government has allocated a 1182.5-dunam (around 300-acre) area on Givat Eitam for the purpose of building new settlements. The plan will expand the settlement of Efrat toward Bethlehem, in an area considered particularly sensitive for diplomatic reasons, Haaretz reported on Tuesday.
According to the Israeli media, the neighborhood is expected to expand the built-up area in the Gush Etzion settlement up to the southern outskirts of the Palestinian city, in a manner that would surround Bethlehem with settlements.
A petition against the planned construction on the site was submitted to the High Court of Justice by Peace Now. On December 26, 2018, the Israeli State Prosecutor’s Office made an announcement to grant the planning license to the Housing Ministry. The license is scheduled to take effect within 30 days from the date of publication of the announcement.
The site is expected to include several hundred settlement units.