JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Civil Administration converted land near a large West Bank settlement to state land, on which the community plans to build 2,500 housing units.
The 1,700 dunams –little more than half a square mile, is located in the northern part of Efrat, the largest settlement in the Gush Etzion bloc located south of Jerusalem.
The declaration last week, but announced Monday, converting the land was issued after the Civil Administration rejected eight Palestinian appeals. A ninth appeal was accepted and that land was not included in the declaration, according to the Israeli daily Ha’aretz.
Before construction can begin, the land must be transferred to the Housing Ministry, which needs the approval of the prime minister and defense minister.
Efrat, which has about 9,000 residents, is one of the areas that Israeli governments say they will keep in a peace deal with the Palestinians.