Rebuffing EU, Netanyahu says ‘no limits’ on Jerusalem construction

Prime minister says attorney general is blocking implementation of Levy report on legalizing West Bank outposts

Benjamin Netanyahu (right) at a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/Flash90)
Benjamin Netanyahu (right) at a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/Flash90)

There will be “no limits” to construction in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a cabinet meeting on Sunday.

His comments come two days after the European Union, Britain and France condemned the Interior Ministry’s approval of a plan to build almost 800 new housing units in Gilo, a southern Jerusalem neighborhood beyond the 1967 Green Line.

“We are not imposing any restrictions on construction in Jerusalem. It is our capital,” Netanyahu said. He added Israel has a connection to Jerusalem as “ancient and powerful” as other states do to their capital.

Gilo is part of the city captured during the 1967 Six Day War and subsequently annexed to Israel proper, a move contested by the international community and the Palestinians.

Also on Sunday, Netanyahu expressed hope that the recommendations of the Levy report, a state-sponsored document that advised legalization of illegal West Bank outposts, would be implemented, but said that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein was holding up the process, Haaretz reported.

Weinstein, according to Army Radio, is not happy with the legal phrasing of the report and feels that implementation of its recommendations during the election period would be detrimental to the democratic process.

The fate of Jerusalem and the West Bank lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians refuse to negotiate while Israel continues to build settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, over the objection of Palestinians who claim the territory as a capital of their hoped-for state.

Israel captured both areas in the 1967 Six Day War. Netanyahu has rejected the notion of partitioning the city, although that was one of the provisions of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which envisioned a two-state, two-capital solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure:
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.