Politicians and ministers continue to visit the Yesha and Judea and Samaria council heads' protest tent in Jerusalem. Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat arrived at the tent Wednesday and surprised the attendance with her remarks.
"I have already expressed my stance on the construction freeze, however a decision is a decision; I do not see a way to overturn it; battling it is pointless and futile," said Livnat. The minister promised the settlers that "when the 10 months are up, the government of Israel will continue to build in Judea and Samaria."
Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan said the decision was "illegitimate, and should have not have been made by a national Zionist government."
"We keep hearing that the freeze is temporary; but this must be backed by actions. We must plan ahead into the future," said Dayan.
Livnat. 'A decision is a decision.' (Photo: Guy Assayag)
Yesha Council director-general Pinchas Wallerstein noted that "when one uses the word 'freeze' – it is like empty words. In practice, the freeze has been in place for many years. A school and seven kindergartens have been closed in Ariel.
"When the freeze perpetuates, the population becomes older. In Efrat and Ariel, the damage has been prevalent in recent years – there is no growth despite surging demand," he said.
Efrat Council Head Oded Ravivi told Livnat that "Efrat has been under a construction freeze for the past nine years. We are deep in the freeze." Beit El Council Head Moshe Rosenbaum said "we are all out here because of the belief that the Likud will promote and develop more settlements."
Minister Livnat responded to the remarks and said that "as the prime minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) promised, within 10 months the government will continue building in Judea and Samaria – with more intensity." Livnat added that "when the PM made the decision, he did not do so willingly or with joy; there are international constraints that cannot be ignored."