The Israeli cabinet has agreed to a plan to set aside $6 million for the construction of an expansion of the West Bank settlement in Hebron. This will include the creation of a new neighborhood in part of an Israeli military base, which is being downsized to allow the construction.
The new neighborhood is intended to include 31 homes, two kindergartens, a daycare center and a public park. The settlement currently has around 500 settlers, scattered around the mostly Palestinian city.
Settlers are keen to expand control over the ancient city with new construction, but have struggled to get approval. This is the first time new constructions were approved in Hebron settlements since 2002.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman praised the plan as having strengthened settlement in Judea and Samaria. This is a common term within Israeli government circles for the West Bank, seeking to emphasize Israel’s claims of divine ownership over the region.