In a statement, the Israel Lobby praised the government for “its decision to begin responding to the bullying behavior of the PA at the international level.”
“When Israel is attacked it must react,” the statement said. “In addition to promoting Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria, we must stop all Arab construction and development in these areas, promote the annexation of settlement areas, stop the transfer of funds to the PA, and of course to deny the rights of PA leaders, as long as they run a global campaign against us, contrary to the agreements they signed.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his eight senior ministers decided that Israel would halt the transfer of funds under extant agreements to the PA, and accelerate housing construction in Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, and Maale Adumim.
Under the measure, some 2,000 new housing units would be approved and built - all in neighborhoods the Netanyahu government has insisted would remain in Israeli hands under any future final status agreement.
The sanctions, particularly the acceleration of construction, were also welcomed by the Yesha Council.
“This is a step in the right direction, both to win the political battle launched by the PA against Israel as well as to begin to return at last to the path of construction and Zionist activity,” the council said in a statement.
Meanwhile, coalition chairman MK Zeev Elkin (Likud) criticized the Kadima party, which had earlier chosen to slam the decision to sanction the PA.
In a statement published on Tuesday evening, Kadima said that “Israel is isolating itself rather than mobilizing the world to support its goals” and directly blamed Netanyahu, saying, “In his actions, Netanyahu turns issues over which there is a consensus into controversial issues between Israel and the world.”
Kadima also said that Israel “is responding to the PA’s political failure with political foolishness.”
Elkin said in response, “The cat is finally out of the bag: Kadima has become a radical left-wing party.”
He added, “Kadima is going in the path of Peace Now. Anyone who describes the approval of construction in Jerusalem, Maale Adumim and Gush Etzion bloc as political foolishness places himself on the far left and follows Peace Now.”