Housing Ministry Not Building in Yehudah and Shomron

YERUSHALAYIM -
Minister of Housing Yoav Galant (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Minister of Housing Yoav Galant (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli Housing Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) has said that while his ministry follows the official government policy not to build in Yehudah and Shomron, other ministries may have their own policies.

“Basically – I am following the policy of the government and it is that we are not building in Yehudah and Shomron. But I am not the only one with the ability to build. There are private people and other segments of the government that work according to different ministers,” Galant told a closed meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, according to Haaretz.

While the Housing Ministry controls building projects within the Green Line, most building in Yehudah and Shomron is in the province of the Defense Ministry.

Peace Now alleged that the number of homes Israel plans to build in Yehudah and Shomron more than tripled in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year, including a green light in April for at least 229 homes, which are at various stages in the process of approval.

The Defense Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office denied the report, saying that “nearly all the approvals are for upgrading of existing buildings.”

“On the other hand, there is a question of what happens if we take our hands off the stick and let this plane keep gliding. What will happen in a generation. We know the numbers,” Galant said. “Those numbers are not very promising. A one-state solution is a very bad idea for Israel – we saw what happened in the Balkans …. Thinking about the future obliges us as a government to bring a solution even if the other doesn’t like it.”

The ex-IDF general also lauded Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, whom he described as “Mubarak with a facelift” who is “much more liberal than Morsi,” and “as powerful as Nasser and smart like Sadat.”

“I think Sissi is the right man in the right place in our eyes, but he is dealing with dramatic problems. We would love to help him. We are working for the Egyptians in the U.S. regarding the military aid. We want Egypt to be strong and under the right regime. Sissi is part of the solution and we are lucky to have him.”