Netanyahu Announces ‘Double Blessing’ of New Community South of Jerusalem

“And you shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have assigned the land to you to possess.” Numbers 33:53 (The Israel Bible™)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is moving forward with a plan to legalize the outpost of Netiv Ha’Avot, located just south of Jerusalem in the Gush Etzion region.

“The Cabinet will approve a budget for the Netiv Ha’avot outline,” Netanyahu had said. “The residents of Netiv Ha’avot have been waiting for a long time for this.”

The budget will allocate close to NIS 60 million (~$17.2 million) to the Gush Etzion Regional Council, an umbrella organization representing the Jewish communities of the region including Netiv Ha’Avot, much of which will be used to construct 350 new housing units.

“I would like to thank my colleague, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, for the joint work, especially with two people, chief-of-staff Yoav Horowitz and Ronen Peretz from my office,” Netanyahu continued. “They did outstanding work on both this matter and placing the first homes in the community of Amichai last week. This is a double blessing.”

The timing of the outpost’s legalization helps to lighten the burden for fifteen families whose homes are slated for destruction on March 6. In accordance with a ruling by Israel’s High Court of Justice that found the homes to have been built on private property, the homes were ordered to be demolished by March of this year.

Half of the NIS 60 million being given to the Gush Etzion Regional Council will be spent on a temporary neighborhood for the 15 families until they find permanent homes.

“It is our duty to minimize, as much as possible, the problems that were created for the residents,” said Education Minister and Chairman of the Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett.

“For every home that is dismantled as a result of the appeals filed by left-wing organizations, a community will be established in accordance with the law that they will not be able to move.”

Netiv Ha’Avot’s legalization also occurs just several weeks after the outpost of Havat Gilad, located in Samaria, received its own authorization to acquire legal status.

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