Meridor: Curb building outside settlement blocs

Minister expresses worry about Israel's growing isolation, stops short of calling for full settlement moratorium, IDF withdrawal.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 8, 2013 21:22
2 minute read.
Obama speaks to Israel's Deputy Prime Minister

Obama speaks to Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor. (photo credit: Israel Picture Service)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Israel must take unilateral measures to curb settlement building outside of the main blocs and Jerusalem, Minister Dan Meridor said Friday evening on Channel 2.

"Every building beyond the main blocs will harm the prospects of a two-state solution," Meridor said. "We must put a stop to settlement construction past the Green Line, other than in the main settlement blocs."

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Worried about Israel's growing isolation in the international community, the prominent minister counseled a change in strategy that would convince the world that Israel is serious about the peace process.

In the recent January 22 elections, Meridor failed to regain a seat in the Knesset. A Jerusalem Post expose revealed that hardline right-wing activists had joined the Likud party to back hawkish candidates, while eventually voting for other right-wing parties in general elections. The move could have been a factor in Meridor's losing his Knesset seat.

Meridor's comments came as Barack Obama announced his first visit to Israel since becoming president of the United States. Many expect him to renew a bid for a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians. In addition, the new US Secretary of State John Kerry phoned both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the diplomatic process, in an early sign he intends to make this a top priority on his agenda.

"We must make unilateral moves," said Meridor. "We need to allow ourselves space to breathe." According to Meridor, the world questions Israel’s sincerity when it says it favors a two-state solution but continues to build everywhere in the territories, even in areas most assume will be part of a future Palestinian state.

Though calling for Israeli concessions to the Palestinian Authority, Meridor stopped short of acceding to the demands of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who has been calling for a complete halt to settlement construction beyond the Green Line as a precondition to peace negotiations. "We must not implement a settlement moratorium," Meridor said. "We can't withdraw the IDF from the West Bank. Look at what happened in Gaza."



Israel withdrew its forces from the Gaza Strip in 2005. The coastal enclave was quickly overrun by Hamas and used as a launching pad to fire rockets at southern Israel since then.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN