For over a year, under a veil of secrecy and meticulous planning, the Samaria Regional Council has engaged a wide team of engineers, architects, geographers, and professional advisors who have prepared a practical professional plan to reach one million residents in Samaria by the year 2050.
The plan, which its drafting process has been personally led by the head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, for over a year, was developed by professionals within the Samaria Regional Council and external experts. Leading this effort is Avraham and Shomron Shvut from the company ANAF.
The foundational principles for reaching a million residents were developed through extensive discussions at the annual central conference of local leadership held by the council about 10 months ago. Hundreds of heads of settlements in Samaria participated in the conference, without the planning team of the program being revealed. Based on the statements of the settlement leadership, the planning team finalized the comprehensive plan.
The plan includes the expansion of some of the settlements (those interested) into towns, the construction of new cities, the establishment of railway lines to the center and north of the country, road expansions, the creation of a medical center in the center of Samaria, an airport, industrial zone construction, cultural facilities, and more.
Millions of empty dunams
The work on the plan to expand the Samaria region to a million residents began over a year ago, and the basic principles were formulated at a conference attended by hundreds of local leaders of the Samaria Regional Council about 10 months ago. Now the plan is being revealed. In a realistic view towards the upcoming years, the State of Israel must find solutions to the national issue of population density in the central region of the country. The plan operates under the assumption that Samaria is the key to the solution. It involves millions of empty dunams and the only land reserves of state lands adjacent to the center, about 20 km from Tel Aviv.
The plan specifies, with professional precision, the urban planning programming for the expansion of existing settlements and the establishment of new cities and communities. It also takes into account the necessary infrastructure development to reach a million residents in Samaria. The plan constitutes a long-term and realistic vision for solving the housing crisis in Israel and significantly strengthening the settlement in Samaria. The entire plan is based on planning with publicly declared state lands and considers the integration of existing settlements and sites in the planning, taking into account the topographical aspects of the area, the size of the land, proximity to settlements, and the preservation of open spaces between and within the communities. Emphasis is also placed on access road planning.
The head of the regional council, Yossi Dagan, shared the details of the plan with the Prime Minister in a letter he sent him, in which he wrote: "The Samaria region, situated in the heart of the Land of Israel, holds historical and national significance, being the cradle of the Bible and Israeli culture." Dagan wrote to the Prime Minister and emphasized: "The attached plan is constructed in a cautious manner, such that the settlements and industrial areas are planned exclusively on state-owned lands."
The head of the council detailed in his letter how the plan could serve as a solution to the housing crisis and future congestion in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. He concluded his letter with a call to the Prime Minister that the government of Israel formally adopt the plan: "I implore you, Mr. Prime Minister, to adopt this plan as the working plan of the current government, for the sake of the future of settlement in Judea and Samaria and throughout the entire country. By doing so, we can lower housing prices in the central region of the country, strengthen the security of the State of Israel by holding onto the high ground, and carry out a strategic, Zionist, and value-based action of this nature."
The country's last land reserves
Dagan: "For over a year, we have worked diligently on a plan for expanding the Samaria region to accommodate one million residents. In the year 2023, the State of Israel is facing national challenges in the realms of security and housing. The Samaria region, situated in the heart of the country, holds historical and national significance as the cradle of the Bible and Israeli culture. This area is crucial to Israel's security existence due to its strategic location at the heart of the country, atop the mountain ranges that overlook the core of the country. The Samaria mountain ranges constitute the last available land reserves of the state in the central region and present a Zionist solution to the housing issue and a response to the need for population dispersion."
The head of the council, Dagan, adds, "The 'Samaria for a million' program has tested and confirmed that it is possible to reach over a million residents in Samaria. Our concept that we must develop Samaria and thus work to strengthen our grip on Israel, proves itself and we are increasing our actions even more."