Yesterday’s announcement that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has approved 523 housing units in the settlement of Gva’ot is the first stages of turning the settlement into a full-fledged city, according to settlers.
Gva’ot has no permanent residents right now, and is made up of a religious/military academy and a collection of trailers and mobile homes that house 10 families. The Barak announcement marks the first permanent housing units in the settlement.
Regional settler leadership say they have pushed for the eventual growth of Gva’ot to a city of at least 6,000 homes and a population of about 25,000 people, and say this announcement is a huge step toward that goal.
The city would lie just south of occupied East Jerusalem, and would be part of the ring of settlements Israel has been created meant to surround the city, which Palestinians hope would be the capital of an eventual Palestinian state.