Peace Now Settlement Watch: Advancement of Plans for Housing Units in the Settlements up by 250% in the First Quarter of 2016

News from Peace Now's (Israel) Settlement Watch:

Advancement of Plans for Housing Units in the Settlements up by 250% in the First Quarter of 2016 Compared with the Same Period Last Year

While the government's declared policy in the settlements is that of a "planning freeze," during January-March 2016 plans for 674 housing units in the settlements were advanced (all over the West Bank and particularly in isolated settlements), as opposed to 194 housing units in the same period last year. 
During 2015, plans for 1,665 new housing units were promoted (1,044 of them were retroactively legalized after having been built illegally and without a plan). This number constitutes a substantial decrease from 2014, during which 8,606 new housing units had been promoted (801 of which retroactively legalized). The figures of the first quarter of 2016 illustrate an upturn in the approval of plans, and sharply increase the total number of units promoted by the current Netanyahu government. Additionally, as illustrated by the numbers above, while the government states that it currently approves plans for already existing construction only, in reality in 2016 only 26% of the plans advanced constituted retroactive legalizations (compared with 63% in 2015).

A list of plans advanced in the first quarter of 2016:

Plan No. Settlement Date Planning Phase New Units Units retroactively approved
(out of the units in the plan, without the Caravans)
126/7 Etz Efraim 20/01/2016 Discussion on Depositing 34
171 Rechelim 20/01/2016 Discussion on Depositing 97 61
405/6/6/1 Alon Shvut 20/01/2016 Discussion on Validation 60
507/1/1 Carmel 20/01/2016 Discussion on Validation 27 27
121/16 Oranit 24/02/2016 Discussion on Validation 20
201/3/12 Ofarim 24/02/2016 Discussion on Depositing 30
216/7 Giv'on Ha'hadasha 24/02/2016 Discussion on Validation 22 22
322/א Rotem 24/02/2016 Discussion on Validation 181 17
115/14 Alfei Menashe 16/03/2016 Discussion on Depositing 24
121/20 Oranit 16/03/2016 Discussion on Depositing 4
235/2/4/א Nerya 16/03/2016 Discussion on Depositing 98 48
420/1/7/30 Ma'ale Adumim 16/03/2016 Discussion on Validation 46
510/22/1 Kiryat Arba 16/03/2016 Discussion on Validation 24
515/1 Tene 16/03/2016 Discussion on Validation 7

Palestinian Family to Be Evicted from Its Home in Jerusalem's Old City for the Purpose of Settlement


On April 5th 2016, The Jerusalem District Court denied an appeal by a Palestinian family residing in the Muslim Quarter at Jerusalem's Old City and ruled that the family has to evacuate its home by the end of June 2016. Settlers of Ateret Cohanim will take over the family's home. This was the last Palestinian family who managed to remain in a building that the settlers took over some five years ago.
In July 2010, the settlers moved in to a big house near the Herod Gate at the Muslim Quarter, and called it "The Vallero House." At the time, most of the Palestinian families who lived in the house were evicted, while one family continued to live in the building, with the settlers as their new neighbors. 
The story of the ownership of the houses begins in the 1930s, when the Palestinian owner of the house rented it to another Palestinian who lived there for decades as a protected tenant. The grandchild of the protected tenant continued to live in the house until today. In 1990, an offshore company called "Blue Stars World Investments" bought the house from the original owner and gave it to the settlers group of Ateret Cohanim. The settlers' claim in court was that the grandchild cannot keep the status of protected tenant based on his grandfather's status. The court accepted this claim and ordered that the family will leave the house by the end of June 2016. This will complete the settlers' takeover of another big compound in the Old City's Muslim Quarter.

For more details on the house and its location see here.