Ears Nahshon / FLASH90
After roughly a decade without new residential construction, the city of Beit El has increased by about 65%, with the construction of a new district promised as compensation for the demolition of 30 residential units six years ago.
It is home to some 6,000 people and the Beit El Yeshiva network. Beit El is often called the "flagship" community of the settlement enterprise and the growth – or lack thereof – is seen by many in the movement as a barometer of the vitality of the attempt to establish Judea and Samaria. .
Once it was a fast-growing city that attracted young couples, but the growth of Beit El has become slower in recent years after a de facto freezing of buildings. In the past decade no new housing unit has been approved in Beit El and the number of dwellings has even decreased.
In 2012, the Netanyahu government, in accordance with an order from the Supreme Court, destroyed 30 houses in what was known as the Ulpana district of Beit El. As part of an agreement with the leaders of Beit El, Netanyahu swore to build a new neighborhood in Beit El with 300 housing units built on the old base of the border police in the city.
Six years later, the Prime Minister's promise has still not materialized, although in July it turned out that the new homes would finally be traded and built.
According to a report by Israel Hayom on Tuesday, however, the new district in Beit El will not only contain the 300 housing units promised by Netanyahu in 2012, but also about 650 new homes.
Upon completion, the new district is expected to increase the population of Beit El, which currently includes just under 1,000 households, by around 65%.
The extensive housing project received approval from the Ministry of Housing.
"This is a real reason to celebrate for the residents of Beit El and the entire settlement," said the mayor of Beit El, Shai Alon.
"Thanks to our determined efforts, the city will expand rapidly with hundreds of new homes and thousands of new residents – a great gift on the eve of the new year. [Rosh Hashana]. "