For some Israeli politicians, Israel's announcement Wednesday night that it would build 1,500 new homes in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, falls far short of what should have been announced – a massive building project of tens of thousands of units throughout the region. For others, the announcement of 1,500 new homes is 1,500 too much.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) on Thursday issued a statement reflecting the former point of view.
“I congratulate the government on its announcement to build the 1,500 units,” Elkin said. “But this is just a drop in the sea compared to what is really needed to ensure a continued Jewish majority in Jerusalem and secure borders for the state of Israel.”
The Housing Ministry and the Israel Lands Administration on Wednesday night issued tenders for 1,500 new homes in Judea and Samaria, and in Jerusalem. The tenders were issued as part of Israel's response to the establishment of the Hamas-Fatah Palestinian Authority government, Housing Minister Uri Ariel said. Of the homes, 223 will be built in Efrat, 484 in Beitar Ilit, 38 in Geva Binyamin (Adam), 76 in Ariel, 78 in Alfe Menashe, 210 in Givat Zeev, and 400 in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Jerusalem.
“I call on the government to remove all roadblocks to construction,” Elkin continued. “As Mahmoud Abbas hugs the terrorists from Hamas, the time has come for Israel to stop being the sucker, and to act in its own interests.”
But for Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, even one new home in Judea and Samaria or in liberated areas of Jerusalem is one too much.
Livni said Thursday that the announcement that new homes will be built “is Israel's punishment for the presence of Jewish Home in the government, not a punishment to the Palestinian Authority for the Hamas-Fatah unity government. At times the government submits to their ideological demands. Our Hatnuah party remains in the government to prevent these capitulations.”