Leftists Outraged at New Construction Plan

"Netanyahu is working for the settlers", says Meretz chairwoman amid reports that Netanyahu will approve new homes in Judea and Samaria.

Ben Ariel ,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90

Leftists reacted with anger on Sunday evening to reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has decided to end the de facto building freeze in Judea and Samaria.

Channel 2 News reported that Netanyahu intends to approve thousands of new housing units and roads at a cost of millions of shekels.

The move is seen as a bid to strengthen the alliance with the nationalist wing of the coalition, and follows a meeting between Netanyahu and Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett, who has threatened to destabilize the coalition if the freeze is not ended.

According to the report, Bennett told Netanyahu that it is obvious that neither Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) nor Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) want elections at this time, and that this situation should be exploited for construction in Judea and Samaria.

Neither Netanyahu nor Bennett have confirmed or denied the Channel 2 report, but the backlash began shortly after it aired.

Responding to the report, Meretz chairwoman MK Zehava Galon said that it is proof that Netanyahu “works for the settlers”.

"Netanyahu is working for the settlers and proves once again that all his talk about a political horizon is lip service for political purposes, when in fact his political needs are enslaved to the settlers,” she charged.

The Labor party also condemned the move, saying that "Netanyahu is selling the political interests of the State of Israel for a few months on the prime minister's chair."

The party also said, “If this is Netanyahu’s solution to the worsening diplomatic crisis or the plight of the high cost of housing in Israel, he has completely lost his direction. We call on Livni and Lapid to reach the necessary conclusions and take action.”

Lapid declared on Sunday night that he is strongly opposed to any plan for wide-ranging construction in Judea and Samaria.

"The plan at this time will lead to a serious crisis in the relations between Israel and the United States, and will hurt Israel's standing in the world," said Lapid, who emphasized that he does not oppose construction in the so-called “settlement blocs” in the framework of natural population growth, but doing so at this time will cause severe damage to Israel.

"Any attempt to build outside the blocs will be met with strong opposition,” said the Finance Minister.

Livni also expressed her dissatisfaction with the plan, writing on Facebook, “The building plan, even if it’s in the blocs, in this volatile reality, is irresponsible.”

“Being afraid to say out loud that there is a construction freeze outside the blocs will ultimately hurt the blocs themselves,” she added.