(photo credit: Uri Ariel's office)
Settlement construction was coordinated with the US and Palestinian Authority
President Mahmoud Abbas, Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel told
parliamentarians in the French Senate Monday.
“Abbas knew in advance
about construction in Judea and Samaria,” Ariel explained. “The Americans
coordinated it with him and even his protest is basically a coordinated
During a lunch with members of the center-right Union for a
Popular Movement, Ariel said that there is a housing deficiency, that prices are
too high and that his goal is to build as much as possible for all populations,
including Arabs and Druse.
In response to questions as to why the
government is allowing construction in the West Bank
, Ariel said “construction
is necessary everywhere, including Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria,” and pointed
out that there is less building there than in any other area of
MP Jacques Kossowski told Ariel that “reality is radically
different from what we see in the media, and it is unclear how Jerusalem could
Ariel also condemned EU proposals to boycott goods produced
beyond the green line, saying that such actions make it more difficult to
negotiate with the Palestinians, because they then think they can be stubborn
and Israel will eventually give up.
“It’s unreasonable that the EU and
its Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton would prioritize Israel and don’t deal
with the Syrian problem,” Ariel said, calling the double standard “an injustice
The Construction and Housing Minister also spoke out
against European attempts to outlaw ritual circumcision and kosher slaughter,
pointing out that there are at least one billion people in the world, Muslim and
Jewish, who believe in those things.
Ariel called such laws
The French politicians participating in the
lunch meeting were Union for a Popular Movement Vice President Roger Karoutchi,
Kossowski, MP Thierry Solère, MP Philippe Pemezec, former minister Éric Raoult,
and Senator Pierre Charon.