Cabinet ministers threaten rebellion over Palestinian building plans

Culture Minister Miri Regev demands thousands of new settlement units.

June 15, 2017 18:24
1 minute read.
A Palestinian laborer works on a construction site in the new Palestinian town dubbed Rawabi

A Palestinian laborer works on a construction site in the new Palestinian town dubbed Rawabi or "The Hills", near the West Bank city of Ramallah. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The IDF's plans to expand the municipal boundaries of the Palestinian city Kalkilya and build 14,000 new homes for Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank, will lead to a rebellion among the Likud's ministers in the cabinet, the ministers warned Thursday.

Area C is under Israeli military and civil control. All the Palestinian cities, including Kalkilya, are under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority and are located in Area A of the West Bank.

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"Construction in Beit El must come first," Regev said in a video statement she sent the press. "Only after that can we discuss the housing crisis in Kalkilya. Our rights over Judea and Samaria is not theoretical, and it must be expressed by building freely throughout Judea and Samaria. I expect that in our next meeting we will authorize marketing thousands of housing units in Judea and Samaria."  

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked also expressed vigorous opposition to the plan Thursday, noting that she and her ally, Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett voted against it in October 2016 when it was approved.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned in response that Bayit Yehudi's appetite in the settlemeents had grown too great. Speaking in an interview with the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) radio station Kol Chai, he noted that in 1992, when the right-wing Tehiya party helped topple Likud prime minister Yitzhak Shamir, he was replaced by Labor leader Yitzhak Rabin, who ended up signing the Oslo Accords.

On Wednesday night the Prime Minister’s Office said in response that the plans had been put forward by the defense minister and approved by the security cabinet last year. The PMO said that it was “absurd” and “incorrect” to claim Netanyahu was authorizing Palestinian building at the expense of Jewish building in Area C.

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