Yariv Oppenheimer, the head of the far-left Peace Now organization, has expressed satisfaction over his group’s success in torpedoing an Israeli initiative to allow Jews to build new homes in Judea and Samaria (Shomron).
The Palestinian Authority (PA) claims the regions as Arab land, and has said that it sees Jewish construction as an obstacle to diplomatic talks.
Peace Now went public with reports that Israel was planning to allow Israeli citizens to build another 20,000 homes, leading to condemnations from the PA and the United States which caused Israeli leaders to back down. Oppenheimer revealed Wednesday that he had complained to the White House about the planned construction.
“This morning, after the Prime Minister announced the cancellation of the building tenders in the territories, I feel very proud yet again to be part of Peace Now, which revealed the existence of the tenders and ruined the construction for [Housing Minister] Uri Ariel,” he wrote on Facebook.
Oppenheimer thanked Peace Now’s team of activists who track new growth in Israeli Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria for their work.
“The goal of ‘Peace Now’ is to not just talk about ‘two states,’ but to do everything to make sure the chances for a solution are not destroyed,” he wrote.
Housing Minister Uri Ariel said Wednesday that the plans to build have not been cancelled.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon has accused Peace Now of deliberately providing false information regarding the plans to build. "Peace Now is still working against Israel and is still inciting against Israel, but what they’re actually doing today is sabotaging the peace process themselves by giving wrong details to the Americans," he accused.