Housing Minister Uri Ariel said, Thursday, "If there is apartheid in Israel, it's apartheid against Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria (Shomron). He was responding to last week's use of the word "apartheid" by Secretary of State John Kerry of the United States to warn Israel about the failure of talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Speaking at the dedication of a new branch of the Bnei Akiva religious youth movement in the Judean city of Efrat, south of Jerusalem, Ariel said, "The Americans and Europeans should pay attention. We will not agree to any apartheid." He also said, "Construction in Israel and in Judea and Samaria is not dependent on the existence of negotiations and we will not stop building without them. We're building to build the land of Israel and to lower housing costs. We'll build in Efrat and every other place."