'Shas will vote in favor of new building moratorium'

Sources say Rabbi Ovadia Yosef will allow 60-day extension if US promises it will be last; Yishai denies report: "Shas opposes any freeze."

October 10, 2010 20:47
1 minute read.
'Shas will vote in favor of new building moratorium'

Ariel Atias 88 224. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Shas said on Sunday that it would not oppose a 60-day extension of the building moratorium in the West Bank, Channel 10 news reported.

The news comes shortly after the Arab League backed Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in giving the US a month to save peace talks, by securing an extension and expansion of the settlement freeze. Sources told Channel 10 that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is planning to re-start the building freeze in order to prevent a crisis with the Obama administration.

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At a closed meeting, Housing Minister Ariel Attias of Shas, a member of the Security Cabinet, reportedly announced that Shas would not vote against a renewed moratorium, on condition that the US promised that this would be the last freeze.

Other Shas sources told Channel 10 that the party's spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, approved the measure, because he did not want to be responsible for a breakdown in communications between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama.

Until now, Netanyahu claimed not to have enough support for an additional freeze, and that Shas' ministers would make the difference in approving or rejecting a building moratorium.

At the same time, Interior Minister and Shas head Eli Yishai, released a statement saying "Rabbi Yosef clarifies that Shas will oppose any freeze, even for two months, and the rest of Shas' ministers have been instructed to behave as such."

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