National Union bill mandates settlement building

Gov't unlikely to support bill, but such legislation puts PM in tough position with right-wing voters next election, source says.

November 19, 2011 23:43
1 minute read.
Construction in Jerusalem's Har Homa neighborhood

Settlement Construction 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

With an eye toward the next election, the National Union has penned legislation to mandate the annual approval of new construction in 10 West Bank settlements.

On Sunday, it plans to propose the bill to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation.

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If it becomes law, the government will be required to approve new building each year in Ma’aleh Adumim, Betar Illit, Ariel, Modi’in Illit, Alfei Menashe, Efrat, Karnei Shomron, Beit Aryeh, Oranit and Kiryat Arba.

National Union chairman Ya’acov Katz told The Jerusalem Post that this is the kind of legislation the Likud party headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should support.

“We are not talking about unlimited construction, we are talking about building to accommodate for the natural growth of these communities,” Katz said.

In lobbying for the bill, the National Union found that while many cabinet ministers supported it ideologically, they would not be willing to vote for it unless it had the prime minister’s support.

Netanyahu’s office did not comment on the legislation. But a political source told the Post the government was unlikely to support it.

Another political source said that the ministers should pay attention to the voters, and not to the prime minister.

Netanyahu’s term does not expire until October 2013. But his opponents on the Right have put in place a strategy to propose legislation that is unlikely to pass, but that creates a voting record on issues that will be part of the next national poll.

In the next election, the source said, these same ministers will have to explain to their right-wing constituencies why they did not support this kind of legislation.

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