Moshe Ya’alon tells Yeshiva students U.S. blocking new settlement plans
(Haartez) – Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told yeshiva students in the West Bank settlement of Gush Etzion on Tuesday that the Obama administration was blocking Israel from building more settlements, but that the current government in the United States “won’t last forever,” according to a recording obtained by Israel Army Radio.
“I really want to approve plans and build more – right now this issue draws a reaction first and foremost from the Americans, and then threats from various sources,” Ya’alon was reportedly recorded as saying in Hebrew, Army Radio reported. “So, we are very cautious not to stretch the rope too much.” He then added, “This government won’t last forever, and I hope that this is temporary.”
Ya’alon stressed repeatedly that Israel was being cautious, noting that the country is in a particularly inferior position in the world arena, according to the report.
“Publicizing building, even in Jerusalem, draws a reaction from various sources, including out friends, who attack us, and we manipulate the issue.” Ya’alon said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was leading the cautious approach and that he understood the need for such an approach and supported it.
The freeze only applied to new tenders, Ya’alon stressed to the students, and that massive building was going on based on already approved tenders. “Look at the past year – settlement in Judea and Samaria, and I know the numbers, grew by 20,000 people,” he said. “There is no such growth in any other region in Israel.”