Mofaz: Kiryat Arba building plan being reconsidered

Kadima leader tells faction that he told PM he opposes building outside settlement blocs, heard of decision from press.

Mofaz and Netanyahu at cabinet meeting 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Mofaz and Netanyahu at cabinet meeting 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A plan to build 84 housing units in Kiryat Arba is being reconsidered at the request of Kadima, Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz told the Kadima faction on Monday.
Mofaz said he protested Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision last week to include Kiryat Arba in his list of West Bank settlements in which there would be new construction. He said he told Netanyahu that he opposed building outside the settlement blocs and that he should not have had to hear about the decision from the press.
The Kadima leader said Netanyahu promised him that he would not be surprised on such issues again. The prime minister said Mofaz would be added to a new committee on settlements that Netanyahu himself will head.
“I protested the decision but I do not think it is right to instigate a coalition crisis over the matter,” Mofaz told the faction.
A few MKs disagreed and voiced their opposition, including Kadima rebels Shlomo Molla and Nino Abesadze and Mofaz loyalist Yohanan Plesner. Rightist Kadima MK Yulia Shamolov Berkovich expressed support for building in Kiryat Arba.
“The prime minister slapped his coalition partner in the face in an effort to find favor with the extreme Right,” Molla said.
“It was not right of Bibi to not ask Kadima in advance and it was not right that Kadima did not stop this decision. Our party was formed to make peace.”
Mofaz took credit for Netanyahu’s decision to oppose the “Outpost Bill” last Wednesday.
“Kadima is moving the government toward the Center,” Mofaz said. “Having a larger coalition enables Kadima to advance its banner of advancing negotiations with the Palestinians.”
Mofaz said he would go to Washington next week for diplomatic meetings and he would soon meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.