'There is no building freeze, no quotas'

PM denies claims government is limiting housing startups in Judea and Samaria, says recent cabinet decision on building was unanimous.

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Hezki Baruch,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu

Claims that Israel is quietly freezing construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are false, the Prime Minister’s Office said Sunday, adding that Israel’s policy across the Green Line, including the approval of 2,600 new units, had been accepted unanimously by the cabinet.

Earlier on Sunday, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) criticized the Prime Minister over the limited number of housing projects in Judea and Samaria set to be approved, claiming a quota system was in place, a holdover from the Obama-era building freeze.

“After eight years of a deep freeze, the housing shortage has become serious, and the time has come to get back to building with existing plans, and stop imposing construction quotas,” said Hotovely.

“The deep disappointment in the settlement field needs to be addressed with an increase in [building] projects.”

Shortly after Hotovely’s statement, however, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a formal response, denying Hotovely’s claims.

“There are no quotas [on construction] and no limitations on the number [of units to be built]. The cabinet unanimously decided on construction policy in Judea and Samaria. All building permits are given according to these rules.”

“As opposed to what has been claimed” the PMO said, “there is no building freeze at all. In fact, the opposite is true. In recent months thousands of units have been approved across Judea and Samaria, and for the first time in decades, a new community has been authorized. Repeating a lie does not make it true.”