Shomron Regional Council
|Shomron Regional Council
מועצה אזורית שומרון
|District||Judea and Samaria Area|
|Area||2,800,000 dunams (2,800 km2 or 1,100 sq mi)|
|• Density||12/km2 (32/sq mi)|
The Shomron Regional Council (Hebrew: מועצה אזורית שומרון, Mo'atza Azorit Shomron, English Samaria Regional Council) is an Israeli regional council in the northern West Bank. It provides municipal services for the 35 Jewish towns or Israeli settlements in the Samarian hills within its jurisdiction with a total population of about 23,600 people. The main offices are located in the Barkan Industrial Park.
The municipal area of the Council spreads across 2,800 square kilometers. Until the fall of 2005 when some of its municipal land was abandoned as part of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan, the Shomron Regional Council had been the largest Israeli regional council in municipal area.
On September 12, 2016 the Shomron Regional Council and the Town of Hempstead signed a Declaration of Cooperation ("Sister Municipalities ") at Rock Hall Museum in Lawrence, N.Y. Council Chairman Yossi Dagan, Town Supervisor Anthony Santino, Councilmen Bruce Blakeman, Anthony D'Esposito and Edward Ambrosino signed the document. This agreement was significant as Hempstead Town is the largest in America with a population greater than four American States.
The municipal area of the Council spreads across 2,800 square kilometers, which corresponds to about 10 percent of the area of the State of Israel within the Green Line. In municipal area, Shomron Regional Council is among the largest Israeli authorities.
The municipal boundaries:
- North: the (former) settlements of Ganim and Kadim, reaching to Megiddo Junction.
- West: the settlement of Tzofim, reaching to Kfar Saba.
- South: the settlements of Peduel and Alei Zahav.
The Council is divided into geographic regions, where each region has its own characteristics:
- The Northern Shomron region: Hinanit, Hermesh, Tal Menashe, Mevo Dotan, Reihan, Shaked. All the communities are secular, except for Tal Menashe. Population is around 2,000.
- Central-Western Shomron: Avnei Hefetz, Barkan, Ma'ale Shomron, Nofim, Sal'it, Einav, Etz Efraim, Peduel, Tzufim, Kiryat Netafim, Revava, Shavei Shomron, Sha'arei Tikva, Yakir: mixed population (secular and religious). Most of the communities are large and well established. If you add to them the Local Authorities in Samaria (Alfei Menashe, Elkana, Immanuel, Karnei Shomron, Kedumim, Oranit; and the city of Ariel), all of which are located in this region, the Jewish population numbers about 60,000.
- Mountain Communities: Elon Moreh, Itamar, Har Brakha, Yitzhar (one block, near Nablus, population about 3,000), and farther south, Kfar Tapuach, Rehelim, and Migdalim, with less than 1000 residents.
The local government and residents of Shomron opened the region to local and international tourism. Boutique wineries, organic farms, historical and biblical sites have developed into tourism attractions. The Jewish Shepherd at Kfar Tapuach, the Barkan Industrial park and hiking tails in the scenic natural reserve at attracting tourists from around the world. Israel's Minister of Tourism Yariv Lavin was quoted saying: "I strongly believe in the tourism potential of Samaria. I can tell you from personal experience that I visited Samaria many times, and it might very well be the most beautiful region in Israel".
On September 12, 2016, the Town of Hempstead in New York signed a Declaration of Cooperation with the Shomron Regional Council in the Israeli-controlled West Bank, as part of an effort to counter the BDS movement.
Towns of Shomron
The largest settlement in the Shomron Regional Council today is Sha'arei Tikva, numbering over 5,500 residents.
List of settlements
During the implementation of Israel's unilateral disengagement plan of August/September 2005, the residents of four of the Shomron Regional Council's settlements were evicted, their residential buildings destroyed, and land abandoned to the Palestinians, including territory outlined in the Oslo Accords as Area 'C' in full Israeli control.
In northern Shomron:
- "Locality File" (XLS). Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2011. Retrieved February 2, 2013.
- (Hebrew). "The Shomron Regional Council website". Retrieved 11 February 2016.
- LAZAROFF, TOVAH (5 August 2015). "Yossi Dagan wins election to head Samaria Regional Counci". Jerusalem Post.
- מועצה איזורית שומרון Shomron Regional Council Archived November 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Times of Israel. "Settlement winery touts vino with a biblical vintage". Retrieved Sep 19, 2015.
- "Minister Levin: Visit Samaria, it's the most beautiful region in Israel". Feb 11, 2015.
- Colapietro, Diana "Town creates ‘sister’ relationship with Israeli region. Hempstead officials reaffirm their anti-BDS stance and support for the Jewish state" LI Herald September 14, 2016 http://www.liherald.com/stories/Town-creates-sister-relationship-with-Israeli-region,83694
- "In anti-BDS stand, Hempstead New York signs sister city pact with settler council" Jerusalem Post http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/In-anti-BDS-stand-Hempstead-New-York-signs-sister-city-pact-with-settler-council-467880