Eli Yishai 311 aj.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will resume building only in the settlement blocs Israel will likely keep under an agreement with the Palestinians when the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria ends on September 26, Interior Minister Eli Yishai predicted on Wednesday.
RELATED:'Media turned me into a bad guy'UN: Extend freeze to east J'lemDanon: Settlers will start building the moment freeze endsCoalition strengthened by Netanyahu-Obama meeting
Deputy Prime Minister Yishai, who is a member of the seven-man inner security cabinet, told The Jerusalem Post in an interview at his Jerusalem office that since these communities are expected to become part of Israel under any peace deal, there was no reason not to build there even amid direct talks with the Palestinian Authority.
Yishai stressed that he personally supported building everywhere in
Judea and Samaria, but said he expected Netanyahu to decide differently.
“I believe that he will resume building only in the blocs as a gesture,”
Yishai said. “This is my assessment and not something I am informed
Yishai’s associates said he would do everything possible to persuade
Netanyahu not to decide this, especially because the freeze, in place
since late November, has not led to any diplomatic breakthrough. But
they said Yishai had not decided yet what to do if the prime minister
decided to build only in the blocs.
Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, who is also in the septet, first came
out in favor of resuming building only in the blocs in a June 15 speech
Sources close to Netanyahu said shortly afterward that he might make
such a decision because it could satisfy both Likud and Labor. They
noted that Netanyahu had made a point of planting trees on Tu Bishvat in
three “consensus” areas: Ariel, Ma’aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion.
But when Netanyahu was asked recently whether he might decide to build
only in the blocs, he said this was Meridor’s point of view, not his
“There has been no decision or hint by the prime minister in that
direction,” a source in the Prime Minister’s Office said in response to
“The security cabinet decision was that construction would resume
everywhere after 10 months. Netanyahu hasn’t talked to anyone in the
septet about any other option or given them any other indication.”
The full interview with Yishai will appear in next week’s Jerusalem Post