The heads of the West Bank settlements are criticizing Israel’s plan to approve thousands of new housing units beyond the Green Line, claiming that the number of units up for approval constitutes a hidden construction freeze.

Construction in the West Bank

Construction in the West Bank Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

On Friday, for the first time since U.S. President Donald Trump began his presidency, it was announced that Israel is expected to approve a new construction plan for the West Bank next week. However, the announcement has sparked major criticism from an unusual source: the Yesha Council. According to the representatives from the settlements, the number of housing units included in the plan is equivalent to a covert construction freeze.

“Today, on the eve of Shabbat, we once again learned that the prime minister has chosen to reject most of the construction requests of the communities in Judea and Samaria,” stated head of the Shomron Regional Council Yossi Dagan. “After eight years [of the Obama administration], there are no more excuses.” Dagan said that if such a plan is approved, the Likud should “consider putting forward a different candidate for prime minister, one who is committed in actions, not just in words, to the ideology” of the Israeli right-wing.

Netanyahu’s office stated in response: “In contrast to what has been claimed, there’s no construction freeze. The truth is the opposite. In the past months, thousands of housing units throughout Judea and Samaria were approved and for the first time in several decades, a new settlement was approved. Even when you repeat a lie, it does not become true…There’s no one who cares more about the settlement enterprise than Prime Minister Netanyahu.”