Ze'ev Elkin
Ze'ev Elkin Flash 90

Construction and Housing Minister Ze'ev Elkin responded on Sunday to the criticism leveled at him by MKs from the Meretz party over his announcement that he will market about 1,300 housing units throughout Judea and Samaria.

"As a country, we want to build as many apartments as possible. About ten percent of Israeli citizens live beyond the Green Line and they also deserve housing. This is part of the natural process," Elkin said in an interview with Channel 13 News.

He added, "I do not decide for the people of Meretz people whether they can travel to visit Mahmoud Abbas or not. I would have behaved differently than them. So they will not decide for me and force me to freeze construction in Judea and Samaria. No freeze was agreed upon in the formation of this government and expansion is part of the expression of normal life in Judea and Samaria."

Earlier, MK Mossi Raz of Meretz said that "Elkin announced the marketing of more than 1,300 housing units in settlements in the occupied territories. A right-wing government that does not count Meretz - 10 degrees to the right of the previous government. Construction in settlements outside Israel is harming Israel."

The left-wing organization Peace Now added, "It has once again been proven that this is not a government of change, but a right-wing government on steroids. The commitment to a political status quo was revealed to be language laundering on the way to Netanyahu's annexation policy. It is unfortunate to see how, while the right is celebrating another step that promotes a binational state, supporters of the two states within the government are silent. Labor and Meretz must wake up and demand an immediate halt to the construction frenzy in the settlements that harms the chances of a future political solution."

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