Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman Marc Israel Sellem/Flash90

Representatives of Judea and Samaria were dismayed by a statement made by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, according to which Israel will only carry out construction within the "settlement blocs," in coordination with the new Trump administration.

"The statement attributed to the Defense Minister is a grave one," said the Yesha Council, an unofficial but influential federation of Judea and Samaria local leaders. "The government must go back to construction in Jerusalem and throughout Judea and Samaria. We expect to hear clarifications from the Defense Minister on this matter."

Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan spoke with senior officials in Liberman's bureau and demanded explanations. "Such an ill-considered statement at this sensitive timing, a moment before President-elect Donald Trump enters office, is a bad signal to the new and sympathetic administration in Washington," he said. "I demand that Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Liberman renounce them."

Liberman told diplomatic reporters that the agreements reached between George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon should be re-confirmed: "We will not build outside the blocs," he explained. "I prefer to build in Alon Shvut, Efrat, Maaleh Adumim and Ariel, where 80% of the residents are."

Liberman also said that he doubts that the new Regulation Law will be applied to Amona.

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