Begin won't back extending freeze on building in Jewish settlements.
By JPOST STAFF
Construction of houses in West Bank settlements will resume as soon as the freeze period ends, Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin (Likud) told Army Radio on Thursday. Statements by Begin and other hawks in the government over resuming construction in Jewsih settlements in the West Bank could put Israel on a collision course with the Obama administration, which has demanded Israel extend the current moratorium and expand it to include Jewish construction in east Jerusalem.Begin was among ministers who voted in favor of the suspension on building activities inthe West Bank ten months ago. The decision was announced byPrime Minister Netanyahu on November 2009 as a confidence-buildingmeasure towards the Palestinians.Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas responded by demanding toextend the ban to east Jerusalem as well, which Netanyahu refused, andthe Palestinians then refused to resume negotiations. The US is said to be asking for the freeze onJewish construction not only in Arab neighborhoods beyond the pre-1967lines in Jerusalem to be extended by at least four months. In addition, it wants Jewish neighborhoods such as Ramot,Neveh Ya’acov, Pisgat Ze’ev and French Hill currently not included in the current moratorium
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