'Israeli construction in West Bank settlements dropped by 52% in 2014'

March 11, 2015 05:18

Housing starts in settlements in 2014 dropped 52 percent compared to the previous year, according to Central Bureau of Statistics figures released Tuesday as the Likud and Bayit Yehudi parties vied for right-wing votes by showcasing their strong support for Judea and Samaria.

To help shore up that support ahead of the March 17 election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew by helicopter Tuesday morning to the IDF headquarters in Judea and Samaria, located between the Palestinian city of Ramallah and the Beit El settlement.

Outside of preventing a nuclear Iran, Netanyahu said, “an additional thing that is fateful to Israel’s future and the security of its citizens is our presence here in Judea and Samaria.”

As he stood next to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, he issued a modified version of the statement he made earlier in the week, that in the current reality, Israel could not withdraw from territory or make concessions to the Palestinians.

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