Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that the decision to freeze construction in Judea and Samaria is temporary and will not be repeated.
"We took this decision out of the widest national considerations and out of a desire to jump-start, to restart negotiations with the Palestinians,” he said at the beginning of his speech at the Calcalist convention.
"We did not mean to halt reasonable life in Judea and Samaria and that is why the decision does not apply to 2,500 units under construction, to 500 additional housing units we recently approved and to the construction of classrooms, public institutions and additional public structures,” he said.
"The settlers in Judea and Samaria are an integral part of our nation. They contribute, they serve, they volunteer – they are our brothers and our sisters, and therefore I with to make it clear to them, to the leaders of the world and to the Palestinians: this decision is a one-time affair and it is temporary. We will resume building after the suspension.”
"The future of the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria will only be determined in a permanent arrangement and not one day sooner, and I hope that the Palestinians desist from their refusal to open peace talks. They need it and we need it,” the Prime Minister added.