Minister to French MPs: Abbas knew about settlement building

Bayit Yehudi minister says construction coordinated with US and PA: calls Abbas' protests "a show."

uri.arielwfrench 370 (photo credit: Uri Ariel's office)
uri.arielwfrench 370
(photo credit: Uri Ariel's office)
Settlement construction was coordinated with the US and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel told parliamentarians in the French Senate Monday.
“Abbas knew in advance about construction in Judea and Samaria,” Ariel explained. “The Americans coordinated it with him and even his protest is basically a coordinated show.”
During a lunch with members of the center-right Union for a Popular Movement, Ariel said that there is a housing deficiency, that prices are too high and that his goal is to build as much as possible for all populations, including Arabs and Druse.
In response to questions as to why the government is allowing construction in the West Bank, Ariel said “construction is necessary everywhere, including Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria,” and pointed out that there is less building there than in any other area of Israel.
MP Jacques Kossowski told Ariel that “reality is radically different from what we see in the media, and it is unclear how Jerusalem could be divided.”
Ariel also condemned EU proposals to boycott goods produced beyond the green line, saying that such actions make it more difficult to negotiate with the Palestinians, because they then think they can be stubborn and Israel will eventually give up.
“It’s unreasonable that the EU and its Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton would prioritize Israel and don’t deal with the Syrian problem,” Ariel said, calling the double standard “an injustice and inhumane.”
The Construction and Housing Minister also spoke out against European attempts to outlaw ritual circumcision and kosher slaughter, pointing out that there are at least one billion people in the world, Muslim and Jewish, who believe in those things.
Ariel called such laws “anti-religious coercion.”
The French politicians participating in the lunch meeting were Union for a Popular Movement Vice President Roger Karoutchi, Kossowski, MP Thierry Solère, MP Philippe Pemezec, former minister Éric Raoult, and Senator Pierre Charon.