Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman James Akena/REUTERS

Defense Minister Avigdor "Yvette" Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) spoke this morning (Sunday) at the start of a cabinet meeting on the issue of construction in Judea and Samaria.

"I saw at the end of the week extensive treatment by political and other factors of the settlement construction issue. The numbers and claims thrown into the air, regarding both settlement planning and construction, have nothing to do with reality.

"I am aware better than anyone else of settlement construction's needs, and I am also well aware of all the limitations and pressures coming from the international political system," the Defense Minister added, "so the Prime Minister and I acted with full transparency and responsibility."

According to him, "What we approved on June 6 and 7 is the maximum that can be approved, and the figures speak for themselves, down to the level of detail of a single family unit: Only last week, on June 6 and 7, a total of 3,651 housing units were approved, of them 671 for immediate construction. From 1 January 2017 to the present, a total of 8,345 houses have been approved, of which 3,066 are for immediate construction, and the figures for the first half of 2017 are the highest since 1992.

"Whoever claims that it was possible to do more is not stretching the rope to the limit, but tearing it apart completely and thus endangering the entire settlement enterprise," he said. "There never was and never will be a better government to take care of Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria and develop it," asserted Liberman.