Yesha Council Chairman Dayan
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Settlers: We'll build without provocations

Yesha Council leaders convene in Gush Etzion, near plot where Coalition Chairman Zeev Elkin plans to build his home. Settlement construction freeze 'is a reality which is about to end tonight,' he says. 'Life in Judea and Samaria will return to normal

Yesha Council leaders convened Sunday morning in the sukkah of Coalition Chairman Zeev Elkin (Likud), near his home in the settlement of Kfar Eldad in the Gush Etzion Regional Council, ahead of the end of the settlement building freeze.


On the backdrop of expectations among the settlers to resume construction despite the growing global pressure to extend the freeze, the Yesha leaders stated that they would be signing new building permits as of Sunday night.


The meeting was attended by heads of Judea and Samaria regional councils, the chairman and director of the Yesha Council, and Knesset Member Arieh Eldad (National Union), head of the Land of Israel Lobby in the Knesset.


A sign posted near the sukkah read, "Here live in a freeze the Elkin family members." The MK has been waiting to start building his permanent home in the community for the past 10 months.


"We gather here today both in honor of the Sukkot holiday and to discuss the end of the freeze," Elkin said at the start of the meeting. "This is a symbolic gathering place, in one of the frozen communities. Kfar Eldad has people who have been living in caravans for 20 years and have not been able to build their homes. This reality is about to end tonight, and life in Judea and Samaria will return to normal."


Elkin stated that "this struggle is far from over, as Kfar Eldad is an example of a community which requires the defense minister's signature in order to really end the freeze."


MK Eldad said, "We are here to remind everyone that Sukkot lasts only seven days, and then we'll resume the construction of permanent building – just like it should be. In this matter, there is nothing reminiscent of the Arabs more than the Jews, who build in the Land of Israel and convey the message that it is ours."


Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan asked to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who he said would not agree to extend the building freeze beyond the preset date.


"Today 10 wasted and unnecessary months, which have caused a lot of suffering to many of us, come to an end. Those who thought the world would appreciate the decision to freeze the lives of the settlers in Judea and Samaria see our pressure now.


"A concession follows a concession and a gesture follows a gesture. Not only have we not moved forward, but we are moving backwards. The prime minister has done the right thing in rejecting these demands."


'Gradual renewal of construction'

Dayan expressed his hope that "rejecting the pressures will be accompanied by renewed construction in all of Judea and Samaria and tenders, so that the freeze will be lifted in practice as well."


He stressed the need to practice restraint. "This is not the time for celebrations. We will resume construction, not as a provocation, but because this is the role we assumed 40 years ago – to settle all parts of the Land of Israel."


Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shaul Etzion clarified that the reality in the area he is in charge of would return to the reality before the freeze as of Monday.


"We are going back to normal construction. In any other place in the world, it would be unthinkable that a Jews who bought a land and presented all the required legal permits would not be allowed to build on his land."


Goldstein noted, however, that the construction would be resumed in a gradual manner. "There are people who have already signed a contract with a contractor and there are those who have not. So we will view the construction as a developing move and will not do it immediately.


"We understand the pressure Netanyahu is under, but this entire freeze has failed to achieve anything. There is no reason to stop building during negotiations with the Palestinians," he stated.



פרסום ראשון: 09.26.10, 13:27
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