The master plan drawn for the settlement of Mikhmas Mizrah (Mikhmas West), initiated by Amana and promoted by the Binyamin Regional Council and the Settlement Division, with the support of the Minister of Defense, aims to turn the area where the settlements of Ma’ale Mikhmas, Rimmonim, Psagot and Kochav Hashachar are located, east of Ramallah, into a “suburban settlement with rural and semi-urban features for population of 77,000”, by 2040. The outpost of Mitzpe Danny is slated for retroactive authorization as part of this plan.
The plan would create a contiguous urban territory east of Road 60, on the Alon Road. It was first proposed by Amana in the 1990s and was revised since. Several months ago, the Supreme Planning Council of the Civil Administration approved advancing the master plan, which proposes a massive expansion of the Israeli settlements in the area, with nearly 2,500 new housing units on a total area of 790 dunams. The plan includes several phases, with hundreds of units built in each of the settlements. According to the plan, the annual population growth in the new settlement bloc will be higher than it is in some of the settlements included in it, and higher than average for West Bank settlements.
The plan’s initiators said during the hearing of the Supreme Planning Council of the Civil Administration that opportunities for growth in settlements are limited due to a shortage in adjacent state land. Therefore, they claimed, there was little possibility of expanding Kochav Hashachar, Rimmonim and Psagot, and suggested that the master plan serve for Ma’ale Mikhmas serve as a regional plan because this settlement and the nearby outpost (Mitzpe Danny) have “a relatively large reservoir of state owned land”.