Settlement leaders prepare protest campaign against building freeze

Benjamin Council head says Yesha leaders will not tolerate de facto construction freeze much longer.

Shimon Cohen ,

Yisrael Gantz
Yisrael Gantz
Benjamin spokeperson

The Supreme Planning Council, the body that is supposed to approve the construction of housing units in Judea and Samaria, has still not convened. and as a result there is a de-facto construction freeze in Judea and Samaria.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, the head of the Benjamin Regional Council, Yisrael Ganz, clarifies that if no date is set for the convening of the council, the leaders of the settlements are expected to begin a public protest campaign soon.

Gantz notes that council has not met since months before the current government was formed. "This means thousands of housing units are not being built. We will have to go back and sit in front of the prime minister's office and maybe even more than that."

On the reason the council has not convened, Gantz says that it is not the role of the settlement leaders to get into the issue of reasons for the freeze, even if there are justifiable reasons such as a workers' union dispute. "It is the responsibility of the prime minister to convene the Supreme Planning Council and I expect him to resolve all the reasons and delays that prevent this. This is his sole responsibility."

When asked if the de facto freeze prevent problems within the coalition, Gantz reiterates that "the responsibility lies with him. It is his responsibility that all technical and non-technical problems be solved."

Is there a set date from which onwards the settlement leaders will decide that the delay in convening the council is excessive and the time has come for significant steps in protest? "There is no absolute agreed position, but I estimate that if by next week there is no fixed date in the near term we will have to take action. It would start with a protest that has a gradation and I hope we do not have to get to that and we do not have to bring people out into the streets."