Settlement leaders set up protest tent outside PM's office

Leaders of the settlement movement protesting Bennett's alleged inactivity with regards to Jewish construction in Judea & Samaria.

Eitan Divinsky ,

Protest tent across from Bennett's residence
Protest tent across from Bennett's residence
Arutz Sheva

Members of the Binyamin Regional Council alongside council head Israel Ganz set up a protest tent across from Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's Office in Jerusalem, demanding the resumption of construction in Judea and Samaria.

"In Binyamin, only 14 housing units out of 2,000 prepared for construction have been approved thus far. In fact, Prime Minister Bennett is blocking plans that have already received legal approvals and have been awaiting an assembly of the Head Building Committee for months," said members of the council.

A US official on Friday warned that Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria would inflame tensions between Israel and Palestinian Arabs while impeding efforts to achieve a two-state solution, Haaretz reports.

“We believe it is critical for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and fundamentally undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution," the official was quoted as saying.

"This certainly includes settlement activity which makes achieving a two-state solution much more difficult. It’s critical to advance steps that will promote calm and reduce tensions."

The comment follows news that Israel will approve more than 2,000 new housing units in Judea and Samaria.

The construction also includes plans for the construction of 1,000 housing units for Palestinian Arabs in Area C.

On Thursday, heads of the Yesha Council criticized the move.

"The Jewish settlement in the heart of our ancestral homeland does not require Arab construction to make it 'kosher' and does not need to be dependent on approvals of the Arab population," said David Elhayani, the council's head.

An Israeli political source told Haaretz earlier this week that the Biden administration "will express opposition to this move, but everyone wants this impossible coalition in Israel to hold out... It was clear to Bennett that he would not have been able to advance this move after his meeting with Biden at the end of the month so as not to damage their relations, and that's why he had to announce it as early as he did."