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Israeli Body to Oversee Palestinian Construction in Area C

Israeli Body to Oversee Palestinian Construction in Area C

Sunday, 13 June, 2021 - 06:15
Israelis wave national flags during a Jerusalem Day march, in Jerusalem, May 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Before signing a final deal on the Israeli government, which is set to be sworn in Sunday, leader of the Kahol Lavan party, Benny Gantz, and New Hope head Gideon Sa'ar agreed on the formation of a new body to oversee Palestinian constructions in the West Bank’s Area C, Ynet news reported.

It said the agreement was part of the deal when New Hope party joined the new government.

The construction by Palestinians in the West Bank’s Area C constitutes some 60 percent of the territory and is under full Israeli security and civil control.

The news website said that the agreement came after the two parties had disagreed on the issue, particularly when New Hope MK Ze’ev Elkin demanded that the body to oversee Palestinian constructions in Area C be formed under the Ministry of Construction and Housing.

Elkin is nominated as housing minister in the proposed government.

However, Gantz had objected to this demand, saying the matter is traditionally under his ministry’s Civil Administration.

Elkin is known for his hardline positions against Palestinians. He believes Israel should extend sovereignty throughout the West Bank.

Israel occasionally demolishes Palestinian structures in Area C. It claims that such constructions lack the necessary permits. The Israeli demolitions frequently draw international condemnation.

The Oslo II Accord signed between the Palestinians and Israel divided the West Bank into three administrative divisions: Areas A, B, and C.

On Saturday, the PLO’s National Bureau for Defending Land said that the parties forming the new coalition government agreed on the need to “strengthen settlement in Jerusalem and turn it into a dynamic and modern capital [of Israel], as well as to tighten control over Area C of the West Bank.”

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