PM: There are enough places to build settlements legally

Netanyahu tells Likud faction meeting that "it is possible to be faithful to both the land of Israel and to the law"; recent housing starts in Jerusalem will remain Israeli territory in any future agreement.

November 7, 2011 15:25
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu [file]

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday addressed illegal settlement construction, saying that there are enough legal options available for building in the land of Israel.

Speaking at a Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu said: "It is possible to be faithful to both the land of Israel and the law."

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"We should all be united under these principals," he added, saying that protecting settlements and protecting the law are not contradictory.

"There are enough places to build without it being on somebody's private land," the prime minister said.

Netanyahu told Likud MKs that the areas in Jerusalem where massive housing starts were approved in recent weeks will remain Israeli territory in any future agreement. "This is very important to you and to me."

Overnight Monday, police arrested 12 people, including seven minors, during the demolition of three illegally built temporary structures that made up the small fledgling outpost of Oz Zion, located near the Givat Assaf outpost in the Binyamin region of the West Bank.

Police said that right wing activists, including some of those arrested, threw stones at the military vehicles, the IDF soldiers and members of the Civil Administration who arrived at Oz Zion in the pre-dawn hours.

In response to the raid and a court order that requires the state to demolish a large number of settler homes built on private Palestinian land in the coming months, settler activists brought their struggle to the Knesset on Monday.

Several hundred people marched from the Supreme Court to the Knesset Monday afternoon, bringing with them a large ball. Symbolically at least, the activists told MKs, "the ball is now in your court."

The message is a reference to recent efforts by lawmakers to legalize through Knesset legislation some of the homes ordered evacuated by the High Court.

Also Monday, MK Yuli Edelstein was expected to bring a number of top Zionist rabbis to the Knesset in protest of the dismantling of West Bank settlements.

Rabbis Lior, Melamed, Druckman, Eisman, Drori and Steiner plan to tell Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that they won't accept what they call his policy of dismantling settlement homes.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report

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