PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
For the second day in a row, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected claims by right-wing politicians and settlers that he had frozen or severely curtailed West Bank settlement building.
“There are no [building] quotas and there is no numerical limit,” Netanyahu said in a statement he issued from Liberia.
“The cabinet unanimously decided on a building policy for Judea and Samaria. All building authorizations are done in accordance with those rules,” he said.
Netanyahu spoke as the Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria prepares to authorize and advance 2,480 new settler homes. This includes advancement of a plan for 102 new homes for the settlement for the Amona families named Amihai, and the possible authorization of 255 homes in a new neighborhood of the Talmon settlement known as Kerem Reim.
But the two largest projects were the advancement of 603 homes in Ma’aleh Adumim and the possible authorization of 839 homes in the Ariel settlement. The bulk of the remaining plans were in the Binyamin region, including the possible authorization of 200 homes in the Beit El settlement.
Very few of the plans were in the Samaria region or the South Hebron hills. The list does not include any plans for the Gush Etzion region.
Netanyahu: The government supports the settlements in any time
Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne’eman said unless new homes are approved there is no point in ministers attending the government’s official ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War scheduled for September in Gush Etzion, Ne’eman said.
“We don’t need a ceremony if the simple right for our children to live here is taken away from them,” he said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said that the absence of Gush Etzion from the list was “unacceptable” and that in the aftermath of the Obama administration there was no tolerance for building quotas in Judea and Samaria.
“More plans have to be included in the list” to meet the needs of these communities, she said.