Liberman advances plans for 400 new homes in terror attack settlement

Defense minister tweets ‘best response to terrorism is increased settlement’ after one killed, two injured in West Bank community of Adam

View of the  settlement of Adam (Geva Binyamin), in the West Bank, as seen from the Jewish neighborhood of Neve Yaakov in Jerusalem, January 1, 2017 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
View of the settlement of Adam (Geva Binyamin), in the West Bank, as seen from the Jewish neighborhood of Neve Yaakov in Jerusalem, January 1, 2017 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Friday announced that he had directed his ministry to advance plans for the construction of 400 new homes in the West Bank settlement of Adam, in response to the deadly terror attack that took place there overnight.

“The best response to terrorism is increased settlement in Judah and Samaria,” he tweeted, referring to the West Bank by its Biblical name. “Therefore I instructed this morning that plans should be advanced to build 400 housing units in the Adam settlement and to approve it with the planning authorities in the next few weeks.”

The 400 homes would be part of an already existing plan which will add 1,000 houses in the settlement, 150 of which are already under construction.

Liberman’s directive likely means the plan will be prioritized by the Civil Administration, the Defense Ministry body that convenes once every three months to approve West Bank construction.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (r) and Home Front Commander Tamir Yedi, during a press conference on July 19, 2018. (Flash90)

The plan still requires several approvals by planning authorities before ground can be broken — a process that sometimes can take years.

Liberman’s announcement followed a terror attack in which 31-year-old Yotam Ovadia was stabbed to death and two others were injured.

According to Israeli authorities, suspect Mohammad Tareq Yousef climbed over the security fence of the West Bank settlement of Adam sometime before 9 p.m. Thursday. He walked deeper into the settlement, crossing a playground area, where he encountered Ovadia, and stabbed him repeatedly in the upper torso.

Ovadia was father to a 2-year-old child and a 7-month-old baby. The Brinks security company announced on its Facebook page that he worked for it as a technician.

Yotam Ovadia, who was killed in a terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Adam on July 26, 2018 Courtesy)

A second resident, 58, was also stabbed after arriving on the scene. He was rushed to a hospital in serious condition but it was upgraded to moderate after doctors managed to stabilize him.

A third resident, Assaf Raviv, 41, went outside to investigate the disturbance and, realizing that an attack was occurring, shot the Palestinian terrorist three times, killing him.

He was stabbed and lightly injured during the incident, and on Friday morning it was announced he had been released from hospital.

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Overnight Israeli security forces entered suspect Mohammad Tareq Yousef’s village of Kobar. The IDF said that clashes broke out after around 150 Palestinian demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli soldiers, as well as burning tires. There were no reports of injuries.

Israeli security forces’ vehicles deploy during clashes in the village of Kobar, west of Ramallah in the West Bank on July 27, 2018 (AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI)

Thursday’s attack broke months of relative calm in the West Bank, which has seen only sporadic clashes between Palestinians and troops, and a marked decrease in terror attacks.

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