Shevach Stern, the chairman of the Likud National Headquarters, made clear on Wednesday that the Likud National Headquarters will not allow the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria to continue.
Stern spoke to Arutz Sheva amid reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Galant to freeze thousands of housing units which Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman had recently approved for construction in Judea and Samaria.
“At the moment, despite the Prime Minister’s statements about the construction of 5,500 housing units, there is no construction,” he said. “Netanyahu said that until understandings are reached with the U.S. government on the issue of construction in Judea and Samaria, he does not want to do anything else. We will wait two or three weeks until things become clear and I hope that as soon as he returns from his next trip to Washington there will be a positive turnaround including, of course, the establishment of a new community for the evacuees from Amona.”
Stern continued, "I understand that the Prime Minister wants to be coordinated with the Americans. I believe that he will not accept a dictate not to build at all. Even during the Obama administration, several thousand housing units were built and there was never a total freeze.”
“I think Trump’s call to hold back [on construction] is a kind of mantra that remains from the Obama era that the settlements are an obstacle to peace,” he added. “Things will become clear in a few weeks and I hope that the issue of Amona will be resolved even before that. But if after the process with the Americans ends it will turn out that the policy of Obama will continue, we in the Likud will not remain silent and will certainly take action.”
Stern also discussed Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s controversial remarks earlier this week, when he said that annexation of Judea and Samaria will result in “repercussions” from the United States.
“From what I gathered, he was asked about applying sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria, including the territories of the Arabs, and that’s what he was replying to. We believe that on the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Judea and Samaria, we must begin to gradually apply sovereignty,” he opined.