Vice Premier Moshe "Bogie" Yaalon rejected Wednesday the claims of some housing protest demonstrators that communities in Judea and Samaria are linked to Israel's housing woes.
"Construction in Judea and Samaria is not related to the problems protesters complain about, although if we build more in Judea and Samaria there will be more affordable housing [in Israel]," Yaalon said.
Yaalon singled out the slander of the radical left that money for social programs and housing in Tel Aviv ended up in Judea and Samaria.
"I do not accept the claim of the protest leaders that the problem is the settlements," Yaalon said. "We must find a way to provide affordable housing in Central Israel, outlying areas, and also Judea and Samaria."
Yaalon said, despite his objection to politicizing the housing protests and trying to turn them into a hue and cry against communities in Judea and Samaria, that he believe the protesters concerns need to be addressed.
"When the people rose to speak about our need to strengthen our commitment to social justice, this is important and therefore the government is attentive to essential concerns. Social justice is a Jewish value," Yaalon said.
Community leaders in Judea and Samaria, as well as nationalist politicians, have called on the government to build additional housing in the settlements as a means of reducing housing costs.