Heads of regional councils in Judea and Samaria, and elsewhere in Israel, convened in Efrat on Wednesday night to discuss the ramifications of the construction freeze decreed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Danny Dayan, chairman of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, opened the meeting with a briefing on the present situation, and Beit Aryeh Mayor Avi Naim, who was arrested and injured during his townsmen’s scuffle with building-freeze inspectors on Tuesday, also spoke. He was greeted with applause.
The meeting concluded with the Yesha Council’s release of the following statement:
1. The Cabinet decision to freeze Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria is a declaration of war on the residents and on the settlement enterprise built up over the course of more than a generation. It is a shameful decision that contrasts with the historic process of the Return to Zion, and will lead to the destruction of the enterprise and the establishment of a Hamastan state in the heart of the Land of Israel.
2. This freeze, which includes legally-approved building plans whose development has already begun, is a blatant blow against civil rights of tens of thousands of law-abiding citizens.
3. Particularly grave is the total enlistment of the Defense Minister in using the security forces against brothers as if they were enemies.
4. Therefore, we demand that the government revoke this grave decision, which is just like the White Paper decrees of the British Mandate.
5. With a sense of responsibility to the fate of the nation and state, the Yesha Council declares that it will continue to act on behalf of building the settlement enterprise, without consideration for the stop-work orders, over which a black flag of immorality and anti-Zionism waves.
The meeting was attended by two non-Yesha municipal leaders: The mayor of Elyachin (near Hadera), Moti Chai, and his counterpart in Beit Dagan (near Rishon LeTzion), Eli Dadon. They said they came “to express solidarity with the settlers’ just struggle against the construction freeze.”