Daily Israel Report

MK Says New Tenders Part of Bigger Deal

Bayit Yehudi's Slomiansky tell IDF Radio extensive construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria is on its way.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/12/2013, 8:45 AM

Nissan Slomiansky
Nissan Slomiansky
Flash 90

The tenders for Jewish construction announced Sunday by the Ministry of Housing and Construction are only the first drops from “a giant wave” of construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, according to Bayit Yehudi MK Nissan Slomiansky.

MK Slomiansky, who heads the Knesset's Finance Committee, was quoted by IDF Radio as saying that the tenders are part of a larger deal between his party and the prime minister.

"This will, with the help of G-d, be a harbinger of very widespread construction – which is the way things should be," he said. "There are things that we spoke about, and this is the understanding that has existed for a very long time.”

Slomiansky insists that the tenders mark the end of the unofficial building freeze in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and that his party told Netanyahu that if there is a freeze, it will not be able to take part in the government.

"Regrettably, there was always some explanation or another, but we said 'enough',” he added. “He has implemented the understandings that we had, and now, large scale construction will take place.”

Slomiansky spoke at a ceremony marking the construction of 63 housing units at the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Minister of Housing and Construction, Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi), also spoke at the ceremony, and said that the secularist and centrist Yesh Atid, which is also a key member of the Coalition, does not really oppose construction in Jerusalem, its leader's statements notwithstanding.

“All – and I mean all – the leaders of Yesh Atid support building in Jerusalem,” he assured.

Yesh Atid head, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, came out publicly against the announcement of new construction tenders, however, calling it a “double mistake” and “a provocation.”

IDF Radio said that Yesh Atid and the prime minister's office chose not to respond to the report.

If the statements by Ariel and Slomiansky are true, they may reflect a quiet understanding reached by Prime Minister Netanyahu, Lapid and Bayit Yehudi head Naftali Bennett. The understanding may entail Bennett's remaining in the Coalition despite “peace talks” and the release of terrorist murderers, in exchange for a large wave of construction in Judea and Samaria.

IDF Radio reported the existence of such a deal between Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi, three weeks ago.