Minister Ariel: There Will be No More Construction Freezes
Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) spoke on Tuesday night at the Jerusalem Day celebrations at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva, where he declared that there will never be another construction freeze in Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria.
"There will be no more freezes, we will not accept delays and restrictions in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and we will continue to build in all parts of our country," said Ariel.
“Jerusalem will not be divided again. Between the Jordan and the sea there will be only one state, and that is the State of Israel.”
Ariel’s comments come amid recent calls on Israel to freeze construction in Judea and Samaria in order to resume peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA).
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has conditioned the resumption of talks on Israel freezing construction in Judea and Samaria for three months, among other things.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently instructed Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon to cancel a hearing to promote plans for building in Judea and Samaria, with sources close to Netanyahu claiming that the matter is an issue of global public opinion.
The Jewish Home, meanwhile, is calling for an annexation of Area C of Judea and Samaria, which is under full Israeli control.
This plan by Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett has been criticized by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) and Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid).
Lapid declared on Tuesday 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."
Livni said last week that there will be no unilateral Israeli steps in Judea and Samaria so long as she is a member of the government, labeling Bennett’s initiative as “dangerous” and “nonsense”.