Erdan comes out against settlement freeze

The number three man on the Likud list, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, came out against the de facto settlement freeze that has been in effect since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu formed his government on March 31. In a speech to the hawkish Founders Forum of the Likud at the party's Tel Aviv headquarters on Wednesday night, Erdan said that "Israeli governments did not form settlements in order to freeze them." The Likud's number two, Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar, and Netanyahu's rival, Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, are expected to also criticize the prime minister's policy on settlements in pre-Rosh Hashana toasts the two are hosting on Thursday and Sunday.