The head of the Yesha Council, which represents the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, has blasted the recent announcement of 42 "new" building tenders in Kiryat Arba as nothing more than a "gimmick".
The announcement by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman came in response to the brutal murder of 13-year-old Hallel Ariel in the Jewish town next to Hevron last Thursday. Ariel was stabbed to death in her sleep by an Arab terrorist, who broke into her house in Kiryat Arba's Ramat Mamre (Givat Harsina) neighborhood, where the housing tenders were announced.
However, critics have pointed out that the 42 tenders in question are in fact not new at all, but rather consist of old tenders which were announced and then promptly frozen due to American pressure some time ago.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva Tuesday, Yesha Council leader Avi Roeh, who also heads the Binyamin Regional Council in southern Samaria, attacked the government for "insulting the intelligence" of Judea and Samaria residents.
"This is a gimmick," he said. "This is a farce.
"It seems that the prime minister still hasn't internalized that action is needed, not throwing crumbs – not to mention the fact that we are talking about 42 housing units which have been recycled several times already."
"This really insults our intelligence as citizens of Israel and residents of Judea and Samaria, who are forced to attend funeral after funeral," he continued.
Roeh added that residents expected more from an ostensibly right-wing government "in which Yisrael Beytenu, Jewish Home and Likud are sitting."
"There is no doubt that the decisions are not the kind of decisions expected from this government," he said.
The Yesha leader also warned that the ongoing building freeze throughout Judea and Samaria was still in effect, token announcements notwithstanding.
"The prime minister holds fast to the idea that construction plans which are on the table of the Civil Administration must be frozen, and there is no doubt that this harms our ability to prepare for construction in the coming years," he stated, warning of a severe housing crisis in around "five to ten years, even if we start to approve building plans now."
Roeh also commented that the government's failure to properly respond to murderous Arab terrorism was harming the morale of Judea and Samaria residents, as well as wider Israeli society.
"Over 10 months of terror the nation of Israel was revealed as a strong and steadfast nation, which pursues the terrorists in order to subdue them," he said of the many individual acts of heroism exhibited by security forces and civilians alike.
In contrast, he said "instead of taking the right decisions to expand communities and apply sovereignty over Judea and Samaria, the government puts out announcements of 42 housing units in response to the murder of a child (sleeping) in her bed in her home."
"This raises many question marks," Roeh challenged, adding he met on Monday with Judea Regional Council head Yochai Dimri in Otniel – home to the Mark family whose father was murdered in a terror attack a day after Hallel Ariel – to discuss how to deal with the continuing inept government response and ongoing building freeze.