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Daily Israel Report

Bennett Denies Terrorists-for-Housing Deal

Bayit Yehudi leader denies reports he agreed to prisoner release in exchange for homes in Judea, Samaria.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/4/2013, 10:04 PM

Bennett
Bennett
Flash 90

Bayit Yehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett denied Sunday that there was a deal between him and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in which he agreed to accept the release of 104 terrorist prisoners, and Netanyahu agreed to allow the construction of 1,000 homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria.

He said that the report was “baseless” but went on to say that tenders for construction will be issued in the coming days, and that this building will take place in locations where there had been a de facto freeze on construction, including parts of Jerusalem.

The number of housing units to be approved is a “respectable” one, he said.

Asked how he lives with the fact that left-leaning Justice Minister Tzipi Livni is in charge of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, Bennett noted that Livni was appointed to head the negotiations by the government and the Cabinet, and does not have independent authority.

"The prime minister and the Cabinet are updated frequently,” he stated. “We are watching very closely.” He added that he is updated regarding the progress of the negotiations through the prime minister's office.

The Bayit Yehudi leader said that he does not foresee a “peace deal” that will include handing over Judea and Samaria, but “we must be careful.”

"Am I calm? No. But are we in a catastrophe? No.”