The Palestinian Authority needs to know that there are two sides to
every coin, said Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael
Beytenu) on Saturday, in defense of the government's approval of 3,000 new housing units in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
The move came on Friday in response to the UN approving the
Palestinian UN bid for non-member observer state status. The inner cabinet also
decided on Friday to give the go ahead for the planning of thousands of housing units
in area E1 that connects Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim.
President Mahmoud Abbas was wrong in his address to the United Nations,"
Aharonovitch said at a weekly cultural event in Ramat Hasharon. "Abu
Mazen (Abbas) made a speech full of hate, and it is impossible to
achieve peace with him," he continued.
"Those who violate an agreement need to know that there are two sides to a coin," he asserted.
is a national agreement on a united Jerusalem and settlement blocs" he
added. "Wadi Ara may be included in a land swap in the future."
at the same event, Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On decried the decision.
"The settlements must be evacuated, not built up," she said. "There is
no greater obstacle to an agreement than the settlements, and there is
no heavier economic millstone that burdens the middle class and weaker
sectors of society in Israel than the occupation."
slammed Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich for her "feeble reaction" to the
plan. Gal-on said that Yacimovich's "hesitant response" is a
continuation of the Labor Party's shift to the right, and a direct
continuation of the party's "build and cry" policy, which she accused
the party of implementing through the ages.
The Labor Party had criticized the timing of the decision to announce new building beyond the Green Line.
is no objection to Israel's right to build in Jerusalem, but at this
time, it is advisable to lower the flames," the party stated on Friday.
of this nature promote nothing and are liable to hurt Israel's
interests in Jerusalem and in the settlement blocs," the statement
Last week, Washington urged Israel
not to allow construction in the area known as E-1 between Jerusalem
and Ma’aleh Adumim as a possible response to the Palestinian UN bid.
in E-1, which would create contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh
Adumim to the northeast beyond the Green Line, is something various
Israeli governments have long wanted to do, but which US opposition has
In recent weeks, following appeals by the US and other
international players not to respond in an overly harsh manner that
would make a future return to negotiations even more difficult, Israel
has moved from suggestions that it immediately annul the Oslo Accords
and annex the large settlement blocs, to “tamer” measures, such as
deducting money from taxes collected on behalf of the PA to cover the
estimated NIS 800 million owed to the Israeli Electric Cooperation.
Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat condemned the building plans on
Friday, saying they ran counter to efforts to restart the peace process.
the Palestinians are doing everything possible to keep the two-state
solution alive, including with our vote in the United Nations,
yesterday, the Israeli government is doing everything possible to
destroy it," Erekat stated.
Herb Keinon and Reuters contributed to this report.
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