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Kalkilya Approved For Expansion Drawing Strong Condemnation From The Right

In response to the approval of a new program which includes the expansion of the Arab city Kalkilya, minister of Education Naftali Bennet and minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked sent a sharp message to Netanyahu: “This is a prize for terror”

Tags: KalkilyaIsrael

Israel TV ‘channel 2’ reported last night (Wednesday) that the Arab city of Kalkilya has been approved for an expansion. Following the report, a political storm erupted with politicians on the right accusing Netanyahu with indirectly fueling terror.

According to the plans, Kalkilya will be expanded by an additional 2,500 dunam and will include 14,000 new apartments, adding a total of 60,000 new residents to the city.
Although the assumption is that only half the project will actually be carried out, the Shomron regional council is fuming since no one from the government came to speak or coordinate the project with them. The council is especially alarmed, since with the completion of the expansions the Arab city will border the Jewish town of Tzufim.

Minister of education Naftali bennet and minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked sent PM Netanyahu a sharp message condemning the move, and clarifying their strong opposition to the project.

“Our opposition to the project dubbed ‘stick and carrot’, was and has remained a prize for terror, as well as the further advancement of PA control over zone C’ territory”.

They added, “there is no doubt that the plans significance is aggravated by the very limited scope of construction approved by the PM for Israeli communities”
The ministers further said, “The Israeli government must promote Israeli interests in Yehuda and Shomron, not the Palestinians”.

The ministers then demanded that the projected be halted for the time being.
“In light of these significant developments, we demand the project be frozen until the cabinet reconvenes over the matter, or until 14,000 new apartments are made available to Israelis in zone C’”.

The PM office commented about the announcement saying “We are talking about a project that was initiated by the defense minister last year and was now approved by the cabinet.

Since then, an additional 10,000 housing units were approved for Jewish settlement, therefore the claims are not true and even absurd”.

The ministry of defense also put out a statement saying, “the announcement by the minsters from the ‘Bayit Hayehudi’ is very puzzling since the program called ‘sticks and carrots’ was presented 6 months ago to all the cabinet ministers, including the ‘Bayet Hayehudi’ ministers.

The raising of the issue specifically today, including declarations and demands, is too reminiscent of the behavior of the Techiyah movement in 1992; when it overthrew the right-wing government led by Yitzhak Shamir and thus brought the Oslo Accords upon us.

The present government is the best for a settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria. Thousands of housing units have already been approved in the first half of 2017.

We are conducting a balanced policy, out of a commitment to promote and develop Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria on the one hand, and responsibility for safeguarding the national interests of the State of Israel in the international arena on the other hand”.

Translated by Eli B.

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