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October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
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Settlement Construction Freeze Until Obama Goes Home

Everybody wants to avoid the embarrassment of Joe Biden's visit, when plans for East Jerusalem construction were published during his stay in Israel.
A 2010 rally against settlement construction freeze.

A 2010 rally against settlement construction freeze.
Photo Credit: Gili Yaari / Flash 90

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the suspension of all new construction procedures in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria until after U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel, on the eve of Passover, Makor Rishon reports.

According to a directive that was passed from the PM’s office to the appropriate echelons at the defense and housing ministries, in the next few weeks no new construction bids are to be issued in those three areas. Also, plans whose planning phase has been completed will not move on to the deposit phase while all additional bureaucratic steps concerning their public offering are to be delayed as well.

The suspension directive was issued through informal channels. Prime Minister Netanyahu, who conducted the phone calls with the relevant officials personally, emphasized that this is not a freeze—like the 10-month settlement construction freeze Netanyahu declared in November, 2010-—but “merely a temporary suspension in order not to embarrass the visiting president.”

Sources close to the prime minister reiterated that this time the freeze will be restrained and moderate, as befits the circumstances.

A major contributor to the move on the PM’s part was Housing Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) whose office publicized its construction plans for the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in East Jerusalem on the very week Vice President Joe Biden was visiting Israel, unintentionally causing a serious crisis in Israel’s relationship with the White House.

Following that incident, Netanyahu was forced to block construction in Jerusalem for almost a year, to patch things up with the Americans.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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5 Responses to “Settlement Construction Freeze Until Obama Goes Home”

  1. JUST WHERE IS OBAMA’S HOME ,,,

  2. The whole world moves from trouble to trouble. Iran continues unwavering on it’s march in the development of nuclear weapons and Assad the dictator of Syria is still in power. Current intelligence seems uncertain of when Iran will get the bomb and Israel cannot afford to gamble with this. Assad of Syria looks like he may be preparing to use weapons of mass destruction against his own people and against near by nations as well and Gaza seems more like an opportunity for Hamas to reload than it does a cease fire. If this situation does not drastically change soon for the better, I believe the war in Isaiah Chapter 17 will likely take place. Damascus Syria would be destroyed. The worlds economy would likely collapse as a result and usher in a one world government movement. I wrote a small 6 page book that outlines what I believe the Bible states will take place soon. I don’t accept donations and it’s free. It’s a short read. I encourage you to have a look: http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next.

  3. Charlie Hall says:

    "unintentionally causing a serious crisis in Israel’s relationship with the White House."

    Yishai is a very smart person. I am completely unconvinced that that was unintentional.

  4. Charlie Hall says:

    And if my assessment is wrong, he had no business being a Cabinet minister.

  5. An Ne says:

    netanjahoe was not forced? he has a mind of his own. who is ruling israel anyway.

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