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Akunis: No Building Freeze In Jerusalem, Despite Rumors

Many Israelis have the impression that Israel has imposed a building freeze in Jerusalem. But there is no freeze, MK Ofir Akunis said
By David Lev
First Publish: 6/3/2013, 9:30 PM

Ofir Akunis
Ofir Akunis
PR Photo / Shay Hayak

Recent media reports have given the impression that Israel has already, or is about, to impose a building freeze in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. But those impressions are incorrect, at least regarding Jerusalem, said Ofer Akuniz, the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office for Liason between the government and Knesset.

“There has not been, there is not, and there will not be a building freeze in Jerusalem,” Akunis declared at a Knesset session Monday. “There is no element that can force Israel to agree to such a decision. We will not stop building in Jerusalem, even if it costs us some condemnations from others around the world.”

Last week, Housing Minister Uri Ariel accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of agreeing to a building freeze in Jerusalem. At a Knesset Finance Committee hearing on the housing crisis and solutions for it, Ariel was asked by Committee Chairman Nissan Slomiansky why there appears to be no construction in Jerusalem, Ariel said that Slomiansky needed to refer the question to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

“Why is there no building in Jerusalem? I suggest you ask the Prime Minister,” Ariel said.