Jordan Valley (In Palestine Today)- Israel Hayom newspaper has revealed an Israeli plan to double the number of Jewish settlers across the Jordan Valley, east of the occupied West Bank.
According to the newspaper, the Israeli government intends to double the number of settler families to around 3,000 within four years and will allocate 90 million shekels ($28 million) for that purpose.
“The construction and housing ministry is drafting a resolution seeking to double the number of Israeli residents in the Jordan Valley,” it said.
“The resolution will be presented to the government only after the national budget is approved by the Knesset, but before the end of the 2021 work year, Israel Hayom quoted senior government officials as saying.
The prime minister’s office, the finance ministry and the interior ministry also worked on the joint resolution, it added.
Currently, some 1,500 settler families live in the Jordan Valley – most of them in small communities, according to the newspaper.
It pointed out that the plan does not propose creating new communities, rather expanding the existing ones.
“The Jordan Valley, similar to the Golan Heights and the other areas along Israel’s eastern strip, is of vital strategic importance to the security of the country and its future and is an inseparable part of the Zionist vision,” housing and construction minister Ze’ev Elkin told the newspaper.
“Following the plan to double the number of residents on the Golan, now it is the turn of the Jordan Valley, which is also part of the national consensus,” he added.