Tekuma: Judea and Samaria Construction is Our ‘Red Line’

April 29, 2015  

As coalition negotiations enter their last-minute-crisis phase, the Tekuma component of Jewish Home held a meeting to remind its representatives – MKs Uri Ariel and Betzalel Smotrich – to insist that Tekuma’s demands are written into a coalition agreement between Jewish Home and Likud.

Tekumah has one “red line”: a clear directive to significantly increase building in Judea and Samaria.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva Wednesday, a top Tekuma official said that Jewish Home must demand an outright commitment by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to that there will be no building freezes, as the previous government imposed, or other roadblocks to significant construction in Judea and Samaria. If Netanyahu does not commit to this, the official said, “we have no reason to be in his fourth government. Jewish Home would be better off in the opposition and present a right-wing alternative.”

Likud is expected to sign a coalition agreement with United Torah Judaism as soon as Wednesday night, sources in the party said. UTJ MK Moshe Gafni will be appointed chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee, and MK Yaakov Litzman will be Deputy Health Minister, in essence running the ministry. MK Meir Porush will be Deputy Education Minister, and MK Uri Maklev will be appointed to head a Knesset committee. In addition, MKs Yaakov Eichler and and Eliezer Mozes will be deputy Knesset chairmen, splitting the government’s four year term between themselves.

Netanyahu is also expected to close a deal with Kulanu, which will see Moshe Kahlon appointed Finance Minister. He will also be in charge of the government Planning and Building Authority. MK Yoav Galant will be Housing Minister, and MK Eli Alaluf will be Environment Minister.

Earlier, reports said that Netanyahu was expressing frustration with potential coalition partners Aryeh Deri and Naftali Bennett, the leaders of Shas and Jewish Home respectively.

Likud sources said that Netanyahu is accusing the two of trying to “squeeze” him for concessions he cannot make; if this is how the government acts even before it is formed, the sources said, Netanyahu feels he would be better off forming a unity government with Zionist Union.

According to a Likud source, Netanyahu is ready begin official negotiations with Zionist Union on a unity government after he finishes his deals with UTJ and Kulanu, turning his full attention to a last-gasp attempt to finish off his deals with Shas and Jewish Home – and if he cannot, the Prime Minister will seek to draw Zionist Union into the government.

Speaking on Army Radio Wednesday, Likud MK Ayoub Kara said that he had had a long talk with Zionist Union head Yitzhak Herzog in recent days.

Despite Herzog’s public comments, Kara said, “he does not at all rule out a unity government. I would do anything to bring such a government about, because the country really needs it.”

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