by the ISM media team, January 31st
Today the Planning Board in Beit-El gave its decision to approve the new scheme for the Matityahu East neighborhood, on the lands of Bil’in west of the Apartheid Wall. The Planning Board, composed of IOF and settler-colonist representatives, rejected all the fundamental objections to the scheme, but did introduce many changes in it, apparently in order to create the impression of an unbiased hearing on planning issues.
The approval of the scheme means the legitimization of most of the illegal building that took place in Matityahu East. More importantly, its approval creates the alleged legal framework for the legitimization of the present route of the Wall on Bil’in’s land. Under Occupation law, the scheme will become effective only 15 days after the Planning Board publishes an announcement about it in the newspapers (this announcement is likely to be published in the coming days).
Therefore, in the coming days, a new petition to the High Court of Justice will be submitted, against the approval of the scheme.