MKs to Prime Minister: Building Freeze? Forget about It!
Twenty-one Knesset Members, seven of them deputy ministers, sent a sharp and concise message to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Thursday, that another freeze on construction for Jews in Judea and Samaria is out of the question.
The MKs are members of the Knesset Caucus for the Land of Israel.
"In the course of the past few days, news has reached us about a demand that Israel agree to freezing construction and planning of communities in Judea and Samaria,” the letter said.
The Caucus members – headed by Coalition Chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud-Beytenu) and MK Orit Struk (Jewish Home) stressed that they “streuously oppose a freeze of any kind, including a freeze 'outside the [large settlement] blocs,' and we will see an Israeli commitment along these lines as a serious game changer.”
According to an IDF Radio report Wednesday, the US team in the negotiations for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) has demanded that Israel agree to an “informal” freeze of settlement activity outside the large settlement blocs, The freeze will go into effect immediately after the signing of a framework agreement.
Israel will have to commit not to approve plans for housing, or market housing units, outside the large Jewish population concentrations in Judea and Samaria, according to the report.
Minister of Construction and Housing Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) called the notion of a building freeze “a redundant, deluded idea.” The minister pointed out that the last building freeze – which Netanyahu declared in 2009 – not only did not advance peace with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in any way but may have worsened the situation.
Ariel could not confirm whether or not the report itself was true during the interview, and stated that he was not aware of the details. However, he did reiterate his previous statements that "Americans do not want any construction, at all, in Judea and Samaria."