311_Adam settlement building.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
The Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip announced
on Thursday that construction has been renewed in dozens of locations across the
West Bank, in violation of the building freeze set to end at midnight in
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The projects launched on Thursday include a community
center in Beit Hagai, the home of four Israelis killed by terrorists near Kiryat
Arba on Tuesday night.
The following day, gunmen opened fire on a husband
and wife driving near the Kochav Hashahar settlement, about 30 km. north of
The couple were lightly wounded but managed to flee their car
and hide in a ditch, where they called for help.
Hamas said it was
responsible for both attacks.
The 10-month housing-start freeze was
imposed by the cabinet at the urging of Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu as a
gesture to the Palestinian Authority, and has been met by sustained
from Israelis throughout the West Bank, members of Netanyahu’s Likud
'Building is natural response to violence'
Naftali Bennett, the chairman of the Council of Jewish
Communities, told The Jerusalem Post
on Thursday that the building is “the
natural thing to do in response to violence.”
Judea and Samaria “are gradually starting to do what would have begun
anyway on September 26.
We aren’t whining or deciding to use violence in
response to terrorism, we feel that the most important thing is to
our communities,” Bennett said.
When asked if he felt that the early
resumption of construction was punishing Fatah for the actions of Hamas,
said, “That is nonsense.
The Palestinian leadership has always used the
cocktail of violence mixed with soft words of peace.
They realize that
there are times when they can get concessions through talks and they
that other times they can get them through violence.”
“I don’t buy that
Fatah is peace-loving,” he said.
Bennett said that in his opinion and
that of the council, renewed building won’t harm the chance for peace,
the diplomatic talks in Washington threaten to scuttle an “unprecedented
prosperity for Jews and Palestinians alike in Judea and Samaria,” by
new wave of terrorism that will ruin the security built over eight years
Thursday’s construction followed groundbreaking ceremonies held
the day before at a number of locations in the West Bank, which
were meant as a response to the terrorist attack near Kiryat Arba, and
gesture meant to coincide with the launch of talks with the PA.
groundbreaking ceremony for a sports center at the Adam (Geva Binyamin)
settlement on Wednesday, local council head Bebe Vanunu said the
renewed early as a response to the terrorist attack “and because of the
of the local children who need the facility built.”
The Council of Jewish
Communities also planned to hold a ceremony at Beit Hagai on Wednesday,
canceled it out of respect for the bereaved families of the victims of