Development plans in the West Bank

Research paper by A. G. Coon

Indexed on: 01 Aug '90Published on: 01 Aug '90Published in: GeoJournal


Development plans in the West Bank are prepared under the 1966 Jordanian law which requires regional, outline and detailed plans to be prepared and all development to have a building permit. The only approved regional plans are those prepared under the Mandate: these envisaged little growth and are used by the Israeli authorities as a pretext for refusing building permits almost everywhere outside the municipalities. Two “amendments” have been prepared (but not approved) by the Israelis and are being implemented: a plan which implicitly reserves extensive areas around Jerusalem for Jewish settlement, and a plan for a road network which would promote the integration of Israel and the West Bank, and sterilise development in large areas of the West Bank. Outline plans for hundreds of villages and municipalities have been drawn up, but hardly any have been approved. Consequently, no framework for the orderly and balanced development of Arab communities exists. There are no “development areas” outside municipalities (and few within them)to provide opportunities for Arab development, though the planning and development of new towns and villages for Israeli citizens of the Jewish faith continues apace.