Judea and Samaria residents on Sunday morning protested outside the Prime Ministers Office against the removal of communities in Judea and Samaria from the national housing priority benefits list of communities where residents could get benefits for buying or building homes. The Yesha communities were approved last Sunday, along with several hundred others, but were removed after an informal telephone poll by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week, who claimed that the ministers had decided to remove Yesha communities from the list. The benefits will only be given to Yesha residents if they are approved by political officials.
Government minister Yuli Edelstein visited with protesters and said that he supported their struggle. Edelstein said that reports that he had abstained when Netanyahu asked him if he was in favor of removing the communities were incorrect, and that he had voted against the move. “I will ask the Prime Minister to hold a proper discussion of the matter,” Edelstein said. “In all my years in government I cannot remember when such a sensitive topic was dealt with by a telephone vote. I am sure that if the vote had been in person, with everyone able to see how the others voted, we would have seen different results.”