Ya’alon: W. Bank building must return to former pace

"Building is not a price tag for murder," says vice premier, advocating return to policies for developing Judea and Samaria.

yaalon office 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
yaalon office 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was caught on Sunday between two former IDF chiefs of General Staff offering him opposite advice on how to react to the terrorist attack in Itamar.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that despite the attack, Israel needed to continue to do everything possible to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. He approved tenders for building 400 housing units in the West Bank, but stressed that they were a one-time gesture following the attack.
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“It is important to continue the peace process, because the world will no longer let us rule over another people,” Barak said.
Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon told The Jerusalem Post that rather than put on a show by approving construction once, the time had come to resume fulfilling the Likud’s campaign pledge to build up Judea and Samaria.
“Building is not the price tag for murder,” Ya’alon said. “For two years, Israel restrained itself more than we thought we would and more than previous governments did. We had said we would allow natural development to enable people in Judea and Samaria to live a normal life. It’s time to return to the policies we promised.”
Ya’alon said policies restraining construction in Judea and Samaria were now in place only due to American sensitivity after the policies had failed to return the Palestinians to the negotiating table.
He said there was no longer any reason to reward the Palestinians for taking no steps in the right direction.
“What happened on Shabbat proves the Palestinians don’t do anything except incite,” he said.
The Likud’s nationalist task force sent a letter to Likud ministers urging them to call upon Netanyahu to fire Barak for not preventing the attack in Itamar.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni cautioned against using the attack in Itamar for political gain. In a speech in Tel Aviv, she criticized Netanyahu’s calls for the international community and the Palestinians to issue stronger condemnations of the attack.
“It is not enough to call for the world to criticize terror,” Livni said. “Our ability to gain legitimacy to fight terror depends on our attempts to reach an agreement with pragmatic elements.”