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      Benny Begin: US Should Honor its Commitments

      Likud Minister Benny Begin says that the United States should honor its prior commitments to allow “natural growth.”
      By Avraham Zuroff
      First Publish: 7/6/2009, 8:16 AM

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      Minister without Portfolio Benny Begin (Likud) said Monday morning that the United States should honor its prior commitments to allow “natural growth” for Jews in Judea and Samaria.

      Defense Minister Ehud Barak will meet Monday afternoon in London with the U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell to discuss the American demand to halt all construction within Judea and Samaria. In addition, they will discuss the Iranian and South Korean nuclear threat.

      Begin rejects an absolute construction freeze within Judea and Samaria. In an interview with Voice of Israel government radio on Monday, the minister stated, “There is a loud American voice that shakes from its previous obligations.” He said that the Obama administration has breeched agreements made by previous administrations to permit natural growth within Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Expressing his disappointment, Begin added, “We hope that our American friends will honor stipulations.”

      He added that just like Jews could live anywhere throughout the U.S., “Jews should be allowed to live anywhere within our land.”

      Welfare and Social Services Minister Yitzchak Herzog (Labor) commented that while Israel must honor its commitments to freezing construction within Judea and Samaria, the Palestinian Authority must honor its side.