Minister Threatens Annexation Move will Spell End of Coalition
Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) made a strong statement against annexing Judea and Samaria Tuesday, saying that "if Israel will annex settlement blocs, there will not be a government."
"There is no other solution than two states for two peoples," Lapid added. "You cannot build infrastructure in isolated communities that, in any case, will not be part of Israel in the event of a future agreement."
Lapid pointed out that in recent months, he has succeeded in stopping funding to Judea and Samaria communities.
"The [two-state solution] involves things that will hurt us all," Lapid justified. "Evicting 80 or 90 thousand settlers from their homes shakes us all."
"It's not just that the state will be different; each of us will have a different relationship with the government, the nature of the citizen-state relationship will change," he insisted. "It will tear the largest rift in the state of Israel since the Yom Kippur War."
Building funds for Judea and Samaria have become frequent headline news in Israel over the past several months, as money to the Ministry of Housing is allocated, then withdrawn, over and over again, while politicians fume.
In April, Lapid pulled funding once again to Judea and Samaria, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly instructed Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon to cancel a planned hearing for building tenders in an abrupt about-face.
Meanwhile, far-left group Peace Now claimed that building in Judea and Samaria had quadrupled over the past year and derided Netanyahu for becoming "Prime Minister of the settlers."
Yesha officials denounced the move and denied the validity of the report - noting that if the report were true, there would not be such an immediate need for more construction in Judea and Samaria.
Accusations of "lack of transparency" are common in Lapid's decision making and have played a central role in budgetary discussions since as far back as early February.
Yesha Council officials, an unofficial federation of Jewish communities in the Judea-Samaria region, have categorically rejected the accusations and Globes published a full and detailed breakdown of the funds that were funnelled to Judea and Samaria.