Is a report alleging Naftali Bennett has agreed to a construction freeze just fake news?

Report alleges: "We won't build & won't evacuate either." Religious Zionism: "In other words, a freeze."

Yehonatan Gottlieb ,

MKs Yair Lapid (r.) and Naftali Bennett
MKs Yair Lapid (r.) and Naftali Bennett
Sraya Diamant/Flash90

A day of allegations and denials for the Yamina and Yesh Atid parties – this time, it’s the Makor Rishon newspaper (a publication associated with the national-religious right wing) that is claiming that the coalition the party heads are attempting to cobble together has agreed to a “construction freeze” in Judea and Samaria during its period of governance.

According to the report, authored by journalist Atara German, the leaders of the two aforementioned parties, Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, have agreed to “maintain the status quo” in Judea and Samaria. This would involve neither building new homes, nor evacuating any already built by Jews there.

In response to the allegations, the Yamina party issued a statement: “Fake [news]. There is, and will not be, any agreement to freeze construction in Judea and Samaria.”

Ignoring the denial, MK Simha Rotman (Religious Zionism) attacked Bennett and Lapid, saying: “They won’t build, but they won’t evacuate either. I’d be interested to know if Yamina voters from the settlements – let alone the young settlements – are in agreement with this.”

Also responding was MK Orit Struck, chairperson of the Religious Zionism party, who wrote: “They won’t build and won’t evacuate? That’s a freeze! And voluntarily, too…”

Head of the “My Israel” foundation, Sara Haetzni Cohen, stated: “In less whitewashed language, this is what’s known as a [construction] freeze. In addition, anyone who is familiar with Judea and Samaria knows that there’s no such thing as a status quo there. And don’t tell me that during Bibi’s tenure there was also [such a freeze], because Yamina was supposed to be more right-wing than Bibi.”