Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Yisrael Beytenu will seriously consider joining the government only if the prime minister and defense minister authorize the building of 1,000 homes in Ma’aleh Adumim, party head Avigdor Liberman said on a tour of the West Bank city east of Jerusalem with his faction Tuesday.
Liberman slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent leftward shift, saying that “unlike others,” his MKs came to Ma’aleh Adumim after the election and not only before.
“One of the reasons we have not entered the current government is that the prime minister has not kept his promises to build in Ma’aleh Adumim,” Liberman wrote on his Facebook page after the tour. “There is no doubt that Ma’aleh Adumim will remain part of Israel in any diplomatic agreement, so there is no reason not to build there.”
Liberman vowed to the city’s Likud mayor, Benny Kashriel, that his party would remain in the opposition until mass construction begins in Ma’aleh Adumim.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly promised to build in the area between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim known as E1. Both Democratic and Republican regimes in Washington have asked Israel not to build there, out of concern that it would cut off Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods from Arab towns in the West Bank.
Science, Technology and Space Minister Danny Danon (Likud) toured Ariel University, factories, and research centers in Samaria Tuesday and criticized an initiative by Meretz to legislate marking products from over the Green Line. Danon said his ministry would expand its funding for institutions in Samaria.
“We will continue to encourage excellence in research,” said Danon, who was joined on the tour by Samaria Regional Council deputy head Yossi Dagan.
Dagan announced Tuesday that he would run for mayor of the council, a post that became vacant following the criminal investigation of its former head, Gershon Mesika.