MK Uri Maklev (Yahadut Hatorah / UTJ) said Thursday that despite Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhau's promises to issue tenders for construction at Jerusalem's Ramat Shlomo neighborhood, no tenders have been issued yet.
In late October, Netanyahu sought to provide a public counterbalance to the release of 26 terrorist murderers under US pressure, and the press was informed that he had decided – along with Interior Minister Gideon Saar – to immediately approve four housing plans in different parts of Jerusalem.
One of the plans involved “the immediate approval for construction of 1,500 new housing units in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood.” In addition, reporters were told, “residents of Ramat Shlomo will be allowed to add rooms of up to 50 square meters to existing housing units.”
These were empty promises, said Maklev.
Maklev also pointed a finger at Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home), and said that when Ariel was in the Opposition, “he spoke about declarations of construction that were empty of any content” and denounced “a de facto freeze on construction.” Now that Ariel is in the government, “he is making the same statements with zero results,” Maklev accused.
The hareidi MK also blamed the government for making the promises in the first place, because they cause Israel harm in the diplomatic sphere. “Where else in the world have we seen a governing party that makes declarations that directly damage the very same diplomatic process that it is promoting? These declarations not only fail to improve our diplomatic situation – they cause Israel's status in the world to deteriorate.”
Maklev summed up his critique by saying that the empty declarations about construction “contribute nothing”: they do not solve the housing shortage, and only lead to Israel being boycotted internationally.