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Israel to double number of settlers in Jordan Valley

Israeli soldiers watch as Palestinians protest near the Jordan valley on 4 February 2014 [Issam Rimawi/Apaimages]

The Israeli government plans to double the number of settlers in the Jordan Valley area, Israeli Radio reported yesterday.

According to the media source, the new plan was presented by Housing Minister Yoav Galant.

Galant said according to the plan, the government will transfer funds to the Israeli cooperatives and agricultural villages in the Jordan Valley for every new Jewish family who moves there.

"The state will finance a marketing campaign to encourage Israelis to live in the Jordan Valley, in cooperation with a number of other government ministries," he added.

There is a consensus in Israel that the Jordan Valley should remain part of the state of Israel in any political arrangement. The Jordan Valley must be strengthened and the size of the settlements should be doubled

he said.

On Wednesday, the Jerusalem municipality approved the construction of 240 settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman said he had agreed to build 150 new housing units in the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Ramat Shlomo and 90 units in the Jewish neighbourhood of Gilo, east of the city.

Bennett: Jordan Valley is 'inseparable part' of Israel

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