Who Ordered Building Freeze in Yehudah and Shomron?

YERUSHALAYIM -

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has denied charges that he ordered a building freeze in Yehudah and Shomron. But on Thursday, Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) issued a written statement saying that Netanyahu had put new building permits for the region on hold.

At issue are approximately 5,500 housing units that were approved after the Trump inauguration. The projects are located in Alfei Menashe in western Shomron, Beit Arieh-Ofarim, also in west Shomron, and Beitar Illit.

However, the Prime Minister’s Office insisted that he had issued no surch order, but apportioned blame for construction delays in the region to the Housing Ministry.

“There is a political official who has been spreading this claim in recent days in order to butt heads with the Prime Minister,” a Netanyahu spokesperson said on Wednesday. “This is a complete and total lie.”

Ariel’s statement, quoted by Arutz Sheva on Thursday, confirmed an earlier report Wednesday that Netanyahu was behind the freeze.