ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Government advances new ‘young settlement’ unit in Negev and Galilee ministry

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Negev and the Galilee Minister Yitzhak Wasserlauf arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on January 3, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Negev and the Galilee Minister Yitzhak Wasserlauf arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on January 3, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The government approves the creation of a new body to promote settlement in the West Bank and boost the Jewish population in parts of northern and southern Israel, as part of the newly rebranded Negev, Galilee and National Resilience Ministry.

A statement from Negev and Galilee Minister Yitzhak Wasserlauf’s office states that the “young settlement” unit “will operate in the Negev, the Galilee, mixed cities, neighborhoods with a high rate of infiltrators, young settlements and threatened communities in Judea and Samaria,” though it is not immediately clear what the office’s specific powers will be and how they may overlap with other state organs.

Responding to the announcement of the government’s decision, which has yet to be implemented, Wasserlauf says that he “will work to increase the number of residents in the Negev and the Galilee by promoting growth engines and national projects, increasing the sense of personal security and strengthening national resilience.”

Wasserlauf and his fellow far-right Otzma Yehudit party members campaigned on promises to strengthen internal security and governance, and are strong supporters of Jewish settlement across both sovereign Israel and the West Bank.

Along with far-right running mate Religious Zionism, Otzma Yehudit hopes to increase Jewish populations in the Negev and Galilee, which are also home to many of Israel’s Arab citizens.

Wasserlauf’s Negev and Galilee ministry is slated to receive powers and units transferred from the Social Equality Ministry and Agriculture Ministry.

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