Cabinet ministers Gilad Erdan and Yisrael Katz join Netanyahu in denying the cabinet had last year decided to allow the Palestinian Authority to expand the city of Qalqilya in the West Bank.
“The Qalqilya plan was never presented,” Katz tells Army Radio. “I never approved it or even voted for it.”
“I don’t understand who gave the Civil Administration the authority to approve such a large-scale building plan,” Erdan tells the radio station in an earlier interview.
The plan would see 14,000 new apartments built in the Israeli-controlled Area C surrounding the city, potentially more than doubling the city’s population, from 50,000 to 110,000.
After right-wing ministers denounced the scheme and claimed it had not been reviewed properly by the cabinet, Netanyahu announced earlier today that the plan would be revisited by ministers at a later date.
“I don’t recall a cabinet decision that was made regarding the expansion of Qalqilya,” he said at the weekly cabinet meeting according to Channel 2.
Last week, Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying the Qalqilya expansion plan was “presented by the defense minister last year and approved by the cabinet.”