JERUSALEM: Israel's cabinet has frozen a plan to expand the West Bank's most densely populated Palestinian city by ceding military control over a parcel of land, a proposed concession that has outraged settler leaders.
A spokesman from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said Wednesday that the government will deliberate the issue of Palestinian development in Israeli military controlled areas of the West Bank later this month. Until then, the proposal to grant a part of Area C to allow the expansion of the city of Qalqiliya will be on hold.
Last year, Netanyahu's government quietly passed the eagerly awaited plan to allow the Palestinian city to double its size by expanding into off-limits land in Area C. Since then, settler leaders have railed against the move, calling it a "reward for terror."
In this photo taken Wednesday, July 5, 2017, a general view shows a crowded Palestinian neighborhood that almost collides with a section of the Israeli separation barrier that surrounds the city from three sides, in the most densely populated West Bank city of Qalqilya. Last year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government quietly passed one of its most significant concessions to the Palestinians: a plan to alter the West Bank map and turn over a small chunk of Israeli-controlled territory. (AP Photo